LGBTQ advocates and allies are shaking their fists at the Trump administration after a filed brief sent to the Supreme Court tries to justify job discrimination against LGBTQ employees.
The U.S. Supreme Court is currently preparing for two cases that’ll touch on employment discrimination related to LGBTQ people. And according to Newsweek, the Justice Department under the executive branch is trying to argue that discrimination based on sexual orientation is permissible as it doesn’t count as discrimination based on sex.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 notes that employers cannot “fail or refuse to hire” someone “because of such indivdual’s sex.” But the newly filed brief from the Trump administration argues that sex-based discrimination does not extend to sexual orientation. As such, they argue that gay men and gay women can be discriminated against equally as long as the fact they’re gay is the focus of discrimination and not their gender identities.
This is a distinction that the Supreme Court has yet to rule over, though several other courts have ruled that the two are in fact separate things.
Ultimately, this filed brief from the Justice Department is trying to get the Supreme Court to make a precedent-setting rule that job discrimination based on sexual orientation is allowable under the law. This would then pave the way for LGBTQ-discrimination not only because of “religious freedom” but because of straight out bias and homophobia.
Unfortunately, we’re not surprised as this is the continued effort of Donald Trump, Mike Pence, and their administration. Just earlier this month, the administration submitted a proposal to create a new rule giving federal contractors wide berth in using religion to justify job discrimination, according to Gay City News.
The proposed rule presented by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs “is intended to make clear that religious employers can condition employment on acceptance of or adherence to religious tenets without sanction by the federal government, provided that they do not discriminate based on other protected bases.”
This ongoing attack against LGBTQ employees from the Trump administration proves the need for laws giving protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Or else, we’ll all be sitting targets for an onslaught of attacks from religious freedoms and straight out hate.