DOJ Pride warns Barr of employee ‘dismay’ over Title VII cases

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: DOJ Pride marches at Pride 2017 in D.C. Photo via DOJ Pride’s Facebook page.

The affinity group for LGBTQ employees at the Justice Department has a warning for U.S. Attorney General William Barr: The Trump administration’s litigation position against protections for LGBTQ workers under federal civil rights law has left employees with “concern, dismay and even distress about the cases.”

In a letter dated Nov. 22 and made public Monday, the leaders of DOJ Pride said they undertook a survey of LGBTQ lawyers and law enforcement officials within the Justice Department and found “every response but one” was negative about the U.S. government arguing against LGBTQ protections.

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2nd Circuit rules Title VII bars anti-gay workplace discrimination

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In a major ruling affirming protections for lesbian, gay and bisexual workers, a federal appeals court in New York City ruled Monday employment discrimination based on sexual orientation is unlawful under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a 69-page “en banc” decision from the full court, the Second Circuit finds Donald Zarda, a now deceased skydiver who alleges he was fired from Altitude Express for being gay, can sue under existing civil rights law because sexual-orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination.

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Sessions undoes DOJ support for trans workers under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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Bucking a string of court rulings and the views of a separate U.S. agency, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday reversed the Justice Department’s support for the legal view trans workers are eligible for non-discrimination protections under current civil rights law.

In a two-page memo dated Oct. 4, Sessions informed Justice Department attorneys the U.S. government will no longer view the prohibition on sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to apply to discrimination on the basis of transgender status.

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Two U.S. agencies at odds over protecting gays under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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NEW YORK — Two U.S. agencies — the Justice Department and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission — were at odds Tuesday in arguments before a federal appeals court over whether existing civil rights law bars anti-gay employment discrimination.

Meanwhile, judges on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals gave conflicting signals on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination against lesbian, gay and bisexual workers, making a ruling in favor of gay rights anything but assured.

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Trump’s EEOC nominees ‘wishy-washy’ on LGBT workplace rights

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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President Trump’s nominees for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission during recent congressional testimony — described by one Democratic senator as “wishy-washy” — signaled they may reverse the agency’s position that current federal law against sex discrimination applies to LGBT people.

Under questioning during their confirmation hearing on Tuesday, both nominees — Janet Dhillon, Trump’s choice to become the next chair of the commission, and Daniel Gade, Trump’s choice to fill a vacancy — were non-committal about upholding EEOC’s determinations Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination against LGBT workers.

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Lawsuit seeking gay protections under Title VII reaches Supreme Court

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National LGBT Media Association
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The question of whether lesbian, gay and bisexual people are covered under current federal civil rights law has reached the U.S. Supreme Court — where a nationwide ruling would clarify anti-gay workplace discrimination is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In a 30-page filing, the LGBT group Lambda Legal makes the case the high court should take up to clarify the nationwide prohibition on sex discrimination in the workplace under Title VII applies to cases of lesbian, gay and bisexual people.

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DOJ: Anti-gay discrimination perfectly OK under federal law

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The U.S. Justice Department has declared anti-gay discrimination is lawful under current federal civil rights law, filing an friend-of-the-court brief in a case of alleging employment discrimination.

In a 23-page brief, the Justice Department under U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions rejects the notion that sexual-orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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Supreme Court next stop for argument gays protected under Title VII

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, courtesy of the National Gay Media Association
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The legal team behind a lawsuit seeking redress for a Georgia worker allegedly fired for being a lesbian is poised to seek review from the U.S. Supreme Court, potentially setting up a decision establishing a nationwide prohibition on anti-gay workplace discrimination.

The plan came about after the U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta refused on Thursday to rehear “en banc,” or before the full court, a three-judge panel decision against Jameka Evans, a security guard who claims she was targeted for harassment and effectively terminated from her job at Georgia Regional Hospital for being a lesbian.

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