U.S. Justice Department Reverses Anti-Discrimination Laws Against Gay Employees

The LGBTQ was recently hit with a severe blow to their civil rights fight, when the United States Department of Justice reversed a decision that had advanced their protections. In a statement made to the U.S. appeals court, the Trump Administration reversed former President Barack Obama’s decision that federal law bans discrimination against gay employees.
Gay Employees Are No Longer A Protected Class
Issuing a friend of the court brief, the Department of Justice explained that Congress never intended for Title VII of the U.S. Constitution to apply to gay workers. The amendment mentioned in the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals briefing refers to a clause that prohibits acts of sexual harassment in the workplace.
The briefing also called into question the authority of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency which has been advocating against discrimination and harassment of employees on the basis of sexual orientation. The Justice Department urged the court to stop deferring to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in matters related to gender identity and orientation.
It has been noted that this brief was issued only a short time after President Trump issued his ban of transgenders in the military, but Justice Department spokesman Devin O’Malley says the brief was instigated by other concerns. Specifically, Mr. O’Malley cites rulings from 10 high level appeals courts, which back up the claims made by the justice department.
Donald Zarda Initiated A New Discrimination Lawsuit
In writing the brief, the Department of Justice denied the court’s authority in expanding upon laws established by congress.
The statement was issued in support of Altitude Express Inc., a New York based skydiving company facing a civil suit from former employee, Donald Zarda. In the suit, Mr. Zarda claimed that he was fired by the company, after revealing that he was gay to a customer. When the customer complained to management, Donald was fired.
A short time after filing the suit, Mr. Zarda was killed in a skydiving accident.
The Justice Department’s statement says sexual discrimination only applies to gender and not orientation. Citing an example, the brief states that an employer would be guilty of discrimination through the termination of all male employees or all female employees.
According to the statement, discrimination is based on sex, where as an objection to homosexuality is based on personal or religious belief. There is currently no law prohibiting discrimination based on moral or personal objections, stated the U.S. Department of Justice.

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