The U.S. Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hopes to ensure LGBT people are not protected from workplace discrimination under federal civil rights law.
via Washington Blade
Although LGBT groups — and a growing number of courts — are taking the view the prohibition on sex discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also bars discrimination against LGBT people, sources say the Justice Department will file a brief in an employment discrimination case before the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals opposing that view.
“This would be a gratuitous and extraordinary attack on LGBT people’s civil rights,” James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT and HIV Project, said. “DOJ would be reaching out to offer its opinion on these issues, since they are not a party to this case. That’s not championing LGBT people, it’s working affirmatively to expose us to discrimination. But fortunately, whether the Civil Rights Act protects LGBT people is ultimately a question for the courts to resolve, and not for the attorney general. We are confident that the courts will come to the right decision here.”
Although the Justice Department under the Obama administration never took an official view on whether sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited under Title VII, a brief arguing against the idea LGBT people are protected under Title VII would effectively turn a Justice Department that once argued for protections for LGBT people into an institution that seeks to undermine them.