Jeff Sessions just sabotaged LGBTQ rights in one devastating move

On the same day that President Donald Trump said he was banning transgender Americans from serving in the military, the Department of Justice filed a legal brief saying that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect from discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ department argued to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that the federal law, particularly a section on employment discrimination, cannot be applied to LGBTQ people.

“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, and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect,” the brief says.

One of the nation’s largest LGBTQ advocacy groups, the Human Rights Campaign, issued a statement condemning the brief and the treatment of the LGBTQ community by the Trump administration.

“Attacks against the LGBTQ community at all levels of government continue to pour in from the Trump-Pence Administration,” said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “In one fell swoop, Trump’s DOJ has provided a roadmap for dismantling years of federal protections and declared that lesbian, gay, and bisexual people may no longer be protected by landmark civil rights laws such as the Fair Housing Act, Title IX, or Title VII. For over a decade, courts have determined that discrimination on the basis of LGBTQ status is unlawful discrimination under federal law. Today’s filing is a shameful retrenchment of an outmoded interpretation that forfeits faithful interpretation of current law to achieve a politically-driven and legally specious result.”

The ACLU also responded to the brief, calling it a “gratuitous and extraordinary attack” on the LGBTQ community.

The Justice Department’s amicus brief was in response to a lawsuit that was filed by skydiving instructor Donald Zarda, who believed that he had been fired because of his sexual orientation. Zarda’s attorneys say this was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s Title VII section prohibiting employment discrimination.

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