The Department of Justice is now claiming that the protections laid out in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 don’t expand to queer people.
A brief was recently filed arguing that since there isn’t one group within the LGBTQ community treated poorly compared to the others, they aren’t protected from discrimination.
So far the backlash against this has been huge, as both LGBTQ people and their allies react with horror at the fact that the brief is claiming all queer people being equally hated means it is OK for prejudice to occur.
“The essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII is that employees of one sex must be treated worse than similarly situated employees of the other sex,” the brief reads, “and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect.”
The DOJ embraces the theory Va did in Loving v. Virginia–employers who hate gay couples dislike lesbians and gay men equally. So it’s okay. pic.twitter.com/xF1KYpSrbv
— Anthony M. Kreis (@AnthonyMKreis) July 26, 2017
This brief was filed in response to a lawsuit entitled Zarda v. Altitude Express, which claims that an employer was engaging in discriminatory practices when an employee was fired for disclosing his sexual orientation to a client.
The official position of the federal courts is currently that the Civil Rights act does apply, and sexual orientation discrimination is still considered federally illegal, but many are afraid of these rights being taken away. The fact that this comes the day after Trump’s declaration about trans individuals in the military is causing alarm and panic in the queer community.