Jeff Sessions Thinks It Should Be Legal to Fire You for Being LGBT

In the latest and most significant anti-LGBT action yet from the Trump administration, the Justice Department last night filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguing that federal civil rights laws do not protect individuals from discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. The case in question concerns a former skydiving instructor who filed a lawsuit against his employer in 2010, alleging that the company terminated him because of his sexual orientation.

This appalling brief from the Jeff Sessions-led Justice Department comes as the Second Circuit is preparing to hear arguments about whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of sex, also prohibits discrimination against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people — a position supported by, among many others, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

In April, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, which is based in Chicago, considered the same question. They ultimately ruled that discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under Title VII. In writing for the court, Chief Judge Diane P. Wood noted that, “It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’”

And yet these kinds of legal gymnastics are now exactly what the Justice Department is attempting to do.

“It would require considerable calisthenics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’”

As if the Trump administration’s legal arguments in this case weren’t galling enough on their own, the fact that they are even weighing in at all in this case is noteworthy for how outrageous it is. The United States is not a party to the case, thus the administration cannot argue that its hand was forced. No, this is nothing more than a shameful effort on the part of a very anti-LGBT attorney general to advance discriminatory legal arguments. The question of whether Title VII prohibits gender identity-based discrimination — a position well-supported in case law — isn’t even before the court in this case. Rather, this case addresses the question of whether the federal law that prohibits employment discrimination based on sex also bars discrimination based on a person’s sexual orientation.

It is disgraceful that the Trump administration is working affirmatively to expose LGBT people to discrimination. Fortunately, the question of whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, not Attorney General Sessions.

So while the Justice Department abdicates their responsibility to fight for and uphold our civil rights, we will continue to push forward. 

The ACLU is confident that the law is in our side and that the courts will come to the right decision, just as the Seventh Circuit already has. And we’re prepared to continue this fight to make clear that discrimination against LGBT people is just another form of sex discrimination that is prohibited under federal civil rights laws.

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Sessions is a politician first & foremost. The vast majority of them at every level of government lie. I think it's a requirement to get the job! But you are correct. He did lie at his confirmation hearing, and one would think there would be a mechanism for Congress to hold him in contempt for lying under oath, at a minimum, or attempt to remove him from the position, at a maximum. Certainly no Congressional Republicans care or do anything because the majority of them harbor the same anti-LGBTQ attitude as Jeffy, and the majority of Congressional Democrats have become too Corporatized and do not have the wherewithal to really care about us everyday people with regard to ANYTHING that totally benefits the little people! The Justice Department does not have standing in this particular case and they shouldn't be getting involved. But Jeff the Elf Sessions is still working on getting back on Trump's good side and this very well may help him in that effort! This is all just my opinion. But don't hold your breath waiting for anything from Congress. All we'll hear is lip service if we hear anything!


"Sex" as written in Title VII refers to male or female (biology), not sexual orientation, "gender identity", "gender expression". If you want to change the meaning, lobby Congress to amend the law. Courts should interpret the law as it is written and intended and reject your claims.


This is so galling. What Dark Age is Jeff Sessions living in??

Anthony E.

I have very little respect for your community.

My daughter, an attorney with Kramer-Levin, cut off me and my parents. She even cut her children, our grandchildren and great grandchildren, because we voted for Trump.

Your community does not believe in the Constitution for the 1st Amendment grants me freedom of religion.

Personally, I think that everyone in the ACLU is a hypocrite and on the same level as Hitler, who killed everyone who disagreed with him.


she has every right to not consort with bigoted people, and also do you think Jesus would have preached hate and bigotry?


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Well ofc he’s “agin it” because he has so valiantly closeted any vestige of his gayness (kinda apparent, isn’t it?) all his life. It makes his blood boil. Grow up in an oppressive environment that frowns strongly (to say the least) on anything faintly resembling anything but girls are girls and boys are boys (as true as right handedness, after all, anything else is sinister) and you learn to hate what you cannot even begin to explore. Or maybe you did and you fear the wrath of God so much you’re scared to do anything but rage at the secret offenses. You also hate that other people seem to flaunt it, unashamedly, and you can’t.
I know a Guy who was president of the Young Republicans in college, and to hear him spout such hatred and work so hard to suppress any gay thing creeping in at the school ... a few years later he was shacked up with the queer former president of the young dems he hated so much living a very queer life.
The one who smelt it, dealt it. Every time.


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