Today, the Department of Justice issued a broad memo instructing federal agencies to grant government contractors and grantees religious exemptions from federal non-discrimination law. Transgender Law Center executive director Kris Hayashi issued the following response:

“Just one day after announcing the government would refuse to uphold the law when it comes to protecting transgender workers, the Attorney General today issued alarming guidance promoting state-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded discrimination against women, transgender people, and many other members of our communities.

Make no mistake: today’s guidance is devastating for transgender people. This license-to-discriminate memo invites illegal discrimination on a chilling new scale and attempts to open the door for carving certain communities, including transgender people, out of basic protections guaranteed by law.

Memo by memo, tweet by tweet, the President and Attorney General are chipping away at transgender people’s freedom, lives, and right to fair treatment. This administration is systematically breaking down the protections that make it possible for people like me, a transgender man of color, to survive and thrive.

From the start, this administration has singled our communities out for discrimination because of race, religion, gender, disability, immigration status, and sexual orientation. Transgender Law Center will meet today’s new attack as we have met the ones before: by challenging it with everything we’ve got.”