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Jeff Sessions Gutting Obama-Era Protections For Transgender Workers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reversing Obama-era protections for transgender workers according to Buzzfeed News. (Gage Skidmore / Flickr)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is reversing Obama-era protections for transgender workers according to Buzzfeed News. In particular, Mr. Sessions is asserting that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not provide protection for transgender people, something that the Obama administration legally declared it did.

Sessions’ directive, obtained by BuzzFeed News, says, “Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination encompasses discrimination between men and women but does not encompass discrimination based on gender identity per se, including transgender status.” It adds that the government will take this position in pending and future matters, which could have far-reaching implications across the federal government and may result in the Justice Department fighting against transgender workers in court.

Buzzfeed spoke with former Justice Dept. attorney and current lawyer for Lambda Legal (Lambda is gay-rights legal advocacy organization) Sharon McGowan.

Ms. McGowan to Buzzfeed,"It's ironic for them to say this is law, and not policy. The memo is devoid of discussion of the way case law has been developing in this area for the last few years. It demonstrates that this memo is not actually a reflection of the law as it is — it's a reflection of what the DOJ wishes the law were."

She continued, "The sessions DOJ is trying to roll back the clock and pretend that the progress of the last decade hasnt' happened," she added. "The Justice Department is actually getting back in the business of making anti-transgender law in court."

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