Trump admin pushes legal position on LGBTQ employment discrimination
With the Supreme Court set to discuss LGBTQ employment discrimination, the Trump administration filed a brief arguing that employers should be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ employees due to sexual orientation.
The Department of Justice filed the brief on the matter up for the high court ruling concerning the issue of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Gov’t wants to allow LGBTQ employment discrimination
In their brief, the Justice Department called on the Supreme court to set a precedent in allowing employers nationwide not affected by state anti-discrimination ordinances.
Solicitor General Noel J, Francisco and other justice attorneys argued that Title VII “does not bar discrimination because of sexual orientation.”
Their memorandum reasoned that anti-gay discrimination is not unlawful under the ban on sex-based discrimination because in cases of adverse treatment by an employer, both gay men and women would be addressed equally poorly.
Both men and women in same-sex relationships who experience discrimination from an employer “would be similarly situated– and they would be treated the same,” the department said.
This, in turn, would negate a claim under Title VII’s sex-based protections.
The brief stated that: “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not satisfy that standard.”
Trump’s track record with regard to LGBTQ discrimination
Prior to this, the Justice Department had filed a similar brief in a different case involving anti-transgender discrimination.
In this particular case, they argued that federal civil rights law does not protect transgender employees fro losing their jobs.
The Trump administration has a previous track record of removing protections and privileges of the LGBTQ community in both federal case law and departmental policy.
Earlier, the government had filed a brief with the Supreme Court to argue on behalf of a Colorado baker in a high-profile LGBTQ discrimination case.
In this case, they had argued that the baker’s religious beliefs should be respected and that Colorado law shouldn’t require him to bake a cake for a gay customer’s same-sex wedding.
They had also rescinded Obama-era guidance that interpreted federal civil rights statute in protecting transgender students who want to use the bathroom corresponding with their gender identity.
GLAAD slams Trump administration’s attack on community
In reaction to this, GLAAD, a LGBTQ rights organization, criticized the move by the Department of Justice.
“This is the Trump Administration’s 124th attack on LGBTQ people since taking office,” a GLAAD spokesperson tweeted.
Previously, the Supreme Court had ruled that discrimination on the basis of sex covers actions take or beliefs of employer that subject employees to gender stereotypes.
However, they have never ruled on whether sex-based discrimination covers sexual orientation.
Likewise, appellate courts have traditionally held that sexual orientation is not a protected characteristic under Title VII.
The Supreme Court is set to tackle three cases involving LGBTQ workers’ rights this October.