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Impact

Federal Court Rules for LGBTQ Workers and Leaves DOJ’s Sessions With Egg on His Elf Face

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that a 1964 civil rights law does, in fact, protect LGBTQ workers against discrimination, BuzzFeed reports. Not only is the decision a huge win for queer rights, it’s also a loss for the Trump administration which, surprise, argued against LGBTQ workers’ rights.

According to the ruling, Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bans sex-based discrimination, bans sexual orientation-based discrimination. The decision reversed two lower courts’ decisions.

The court reasoned that discrimination based on sexual orientation is also sex-based discrimination as this type of discrimination would not exist if a person were of a different sex. Basically, a queer person would probably not be discriminated against for their partner’s gender if they were of a different gender.

“A woman who is subject to an adverse employment action because she is attracted to women would have been treated differently if she had been a man who was attracted to women,” Judge Robert Katzmann wrote in the majority opinion. “We can therefore conclude that sexual orientation is a function of sex and, by extension, sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination.”

Even though the Department of Justice doesn’t usually involve itself in private employment issues, the Trump administration joined the case as a way to curb LGBTQ rights, BuzzFeed reports. If the case is to be appealed, it must now go to the Supreme Court.

This case is just one instance of Jeff Sessions’ justice department trying to undermine LGBTQ rights. Sessions has claimed that people of faith have a “fundamental right” to discriminate against LGBTQ people. He’s continually attacked transgender rights, including repealing the Obama-era directive allowing transgender students to use the facilities of their choice in schools.

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