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Administration Files Position Opposing Inclusion of Transgender Rights in Title VII of Civil Rights Act

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In late October, the Trump administration took a huge step back in making progress in affording civil rights for everyone by filing a position with the U.S. Supreme Court arguing against the protection of transgender people against sex bias on the job under Title VII of the 1964 civil rights law.

The case stems from an appeal from a Detroit-based chain of funeral homes to the U.S. Supreme Court. The business chain argues that the 1964 ban on “discrimination based on sex” does not cover bias based on gender identity, and in doing so, challenges a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Six Court, which held that the business chain had to allow a male employee to dress and present as a woman at work in order to appropriately honor his civil rights under Title VII.

Administration’s Posture & History on Issue

In its filing, the Trump administration contends that Congress explicitly chose not to include language prohibiting discrimination based on gender identity in the 1964 law, although many would respond that the gender identity issue was essentially nonexistent in 1964 when the law was drafted and passed.

This is not the first move the administration has made in making it clear that it has no intention of working to protect transgender rights: it previously announced that it would not insist that schools getting federal aid had to allow students to use which bathroom matches their gender identity. In addition, an internal memo was recently circulated indicating that the administration intended to declare that, as a legal matter, gender identity would always be based on what an individual was assigned at birth and what appeared on their birth certificate. The administration has also made it clear that it opposed extending protections against sex bias to claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation, including bias against homosexual individuals. There are currently two cases pending at the Supreme Court level addressing this issue. As a result, the administration not only indicated its position, but also urged the Supreme Court Justices to take no action on the Title VII gender identity case until after the Court hears one or both of the sexual orientation/discrimination cases.

Similarly to the cake shop owner who claimed that he could not make a cake for a homosexual couple due to his religion, the funeral home owner is claiming that his faith forbids the company from allowing an employee from “denying their sex.”

 Florida Criminal Defense Attorney

Under both U.S. and state constitutions, you are afforded a number of protected rights. If those rights have been violated, regardless of how or why, you should speak with an experienced civil rights attorney right away to ensure that they are defended and restored. Contact experienced Orlando civil rights attorney Jose Baez today to find out how we can help.

Resources:

opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/18a0045p-06.pdf

constitutioncenter.org/blog/administration-opposes-transgender-civil-rights-shield

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