Transgender workplace protections are no longer a civil right, according to a new memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions to the Department of Justice. This represents a sharp turn from the Obama DOJ's policy. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employer discrimination on the basis of sex, religion, and national origin. Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder instructed "sex" to be defined so as to include gender identity, thereby protecting transgender people. According to the Sessions memo, "sex" is to be defined solely as "biological gender," and so Title VII does not extend "discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status." This means the government will no longer join lawsuits by plaintiffs who invoke the Civil Rights Act in claiming transgender workplace discrimination. Long story short: After this change, the LGBTQ community has no federal laws protecting them from being fired for their gender identity.
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