TLDEF Condemns Action by AG Sessions to Rescind Workplace Protections for Transgender Americans

Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund today denounces Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to roll back a federal policy recognising trans protections. The policy, announced in a 2014 Department of Justice memo during the Obama Administration, recognised that transgender employees are protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Statement from TLDEF Executive Director Jillian Weiss

“We strongly condemn this action by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. It is yet another attack on the dignity of transgender Americans who deserve the same opportunities to work, earn a living and provide for themselves and their families, free from discrimination on the job.

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The Sessions memo also ignores the weight of federal court precedents, overwhelmingly finding that transgender people are protected from sex discrimination. The idea that the federal civil rights law protects people only from discrimination on the basis of biological sex is flatly contradicted by U.S Supreme Court rulings. In 1989, the Supreme Court ruled that Price Waterhouse violated the federal civil rights act when it fired Anne Hopkins because she did not meet its standards of femininity. The idea that she would only be protected if they terminated her because of her biology was flatly rejected, as it should have been.

As a society, we are beyond the day when people should be judged by their conformity to gender stereotypes. This policy change flies in the face of many considered court rulings finding to the contrary. TLDEF will continue to stand up for our community and fight to ensure that transgender people are protected against sex discrimination.”

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