Yesterday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memo stating that the Department of Justice will reverse itself and, in contradiction to established law, no longer interpret Title VII of the Civil Rights Act as protecting transgender worker from discrimination. Kris Hayashi, executive director of Transgender Law Center, the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people, issued the following statement in response:
“The Department of Justice memo on Title VII tries to undo established law protecting transgender employees simply by wishing it so. This is a vicious action intended to cause confusion where there was none, with the goal of singling out transgender people and making it harder for us to survive and thrive in this country.
By methodically undermining civil rights law, the Department of Justice under Trump and Sessions has committed – and emboldened others to commit – violence and terror against immigrants, Muslims, LGBT people, Black people, and communities of color more broadly. This memo is yet another attack in that vein, with the agency charged with upholding the law now encouraging employers to illegally discriminate against transgender people.
The Attorney General does not have the power to change clearly established law, only to enforce it. Transgender Law Center’s 2012 and 2015 cases on behalf of Mia Macy and Tamara Lusardi, along with extensive case law, firmly established that transgender workers are protected from discrimination under Title VII. Unlike the Attorney General, Transgender Law Center is committed to defending this country’s civil rights laws – and we will take him and this administration to court to do so.”
Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation. www.transgenderlawcenter.org