We can’t really be surprised at this point but the Trump Administration recently filed an amicus brief that argues that title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover “discrimination based on sexual orientation” in employment, according to CNN.
For context, Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the “basis of sex, race, color, national origin and religion.” Sexual orientation is tacitly understood to be included in this list, but according to the brief, it should not be included because it was not expressly stated in the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The question presented in the brief asks “Whether the prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964… prohibits employment discrimination because of sexual orientation.” Also within the brief, the DOJ argues that Title VII should be taken as face value, as Judge Gerard E. Lynch argues that in the common usage of the word “sex” in 1964 and in contemporary times does not refer to sexual orientation but only to the state of being male or female.
The brief also argues that discrimination based on sexual orientation does not involve treating members of one sex unfavorably than “similarly situated members of the other.” The brief argues this point that sexual orientation-based discrimination does not discriminate against men or women but “instead, it involves less favorable treatment of gay or bisexual employees—men and women alike” so as far as employers are concerned, they can discriminate against LGBTQ people as long as they discriminate against the L and G equally. What kind of argument is that? “You were fired because you’re gay but I also fired your lesbian coworker so what I did was completely fine.” Does that sound sane to anyone? Or does that just sound like a thinly-veiled excuse to legally discriminate against LGBTQ people in the workplace?
Luckily, according to James Esseks, director of the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project, courts will decide whether or not to keep LGBTQ protections, not the Trump Administration, and he is confident that most courts will side with equality rather than the DOJ that is determined to strip LGBTQ people of their rights. Let’s hope that he’s right.
It’s very apparent that the Trump Administration does not care about LGBTQ Americans and really only cares about Trump’s Evangelical base and, more importantly, the Evangelical vote. It’s a frightening time to be LGBTQ and American but I’m confident that the right thing will prevail.
And what Trump’s doing is definitely not the right thing.