Friday, July 28, 2017

Sessions and DOJ exclude GLBT protection from Civil Rights Act in 2nd Circuit arguments

The Department of Justice, under beleaguered Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has told the 2nd Circuit that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act only protects individuals in most employment and housing issues from discrimination because of biological gender, not sexual orientation.  That is in conflict with guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under Obama’s leadership.
Larry Neumeister has an AP Story in the Washington Post here

We will hear the old canard that the DOJ is applying the letter of the law, Gorsuch-like.  Perhaps.  And the case would appear to apply to so-called “religious freedom” laws, as well as bathroom bills and some public school issues. 

Actually, you could make a logical case that the law applies to transgender if you accept the idea that transgender has a biological basis (which is almost certainly true). 

But on the religious freedom bills, we’re left back to wondering what religious employers or churches really want to accomplish with their discrimination, beyond the shallow arguments about textual literalism (or for Catholics, protecting a celibate priesthood under attack from all the abuse cases).  It seems to have something to do with a fear that men are getting less interested in getting married and having children at all.  That sounds like what Putin fears. Try this article

But if the courts agree with Sessions, there can be more pressure in Congress to resume debate on ENDA.

HRC's account is here

In other news, Lambda Legal and Outserve-SLDN say they will sue if the Pentagon starts to discharge existing transgender service members.  I have a feeling that the only action taken by the Pentagon may be to stop paying for sexual reassignment treatment, but even that might get challenged legally.  

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