The U.S. Department of Justice Released A Memo Saying Anti-Bias Laws Don't Protect Trans Workers

Gender and sexuality are an integral part of our lives, but the Trump administration doesn’t seem to understand how important these rights are. After the controversy surrounding President Trump’s transgender military ban — which was thankfully frozen —another controversy has arisen.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recently asserted in a memo that the federal law that bans sex discrimination in the workplace doesn’t extend to protect transgender employees, Reuters reports.

His exact words, according to Buzzfeed, were: “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.”

While title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 bans discrimination on the basis of sex, not on gender identity, a 2014 Justice Department memo—and several federal appeals courts—say that Title VII protects transgender people.

In response, trans activists and groups have jumped to social media in defense:

The ACLU responded to the move, The Hill reports, by calling this "another low point for a Department of Justice."

In an interview with Buzzfeed, Sharon McGowan, a former DOJ lawyer and current attorney for nonprofit civil rights organization Lambda Legal, said that Sessions “is trying to roll back the clock [as though] the progress of the last decade hasn't happened. The Justice Department is actually getting back in the business of making anti-transgender law in court."

Politicians have also shown their support of trans rights:

Reversing history and progress is not an option. We hope that the courts agree, even if the Department of Justice doesn’t.