Civil Rights Groups Hail Pro-LGBT Employment Ruling

From DNC chairman Tom Perez:

Under Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions, the U.S. Justice Department has been wielded as a weapon of injustice, arguing that employers should be able to fire people simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. But despite the Trump administration’s best efforts, the LGBTQ community and their allies have prevailed in federal court today.

This is a major victory for anyone who believes in the promise of full equality for all Americans, and a massive blow to Republican leaders and lawmakers standing in the way of progress. Democrats are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community, and we will always fight to end discrimination in all its forms.


This strong affirmation that sexual orientation is protected under Title VII is a vital step forward, but it is imperative to continue to fight for the courts to affirm gender identity is also protected by denying the Trump Administration attempts to block the transgender community from having standing under the language of sex discrimination.

Much like their attempts to undermine protections for workers based on sexual orientation, the Trump Administration has been working to write an anti-trans interpretation of sex discrimination into law by denying that gender identity is protected under the Civil Rights Act. In October 2017 Jeff Sessions reversed a federal policy that interpreted Title VII to include protections for the transgender community on the basis of sex.

From Lambda Legal:

Today’s opinion is a huge victory in the fight for equality and fairness for all LGBT workers,” said Greg Nevins, Director of Lambda Legal’s Employment Fairness Project. “At Lambda Legal’s urging, another federal court of appeals has recognized that federal law protects LGBT people from discrimination because denying someone the right to a job because they are attracted to someone of the same sex is a form of sex discrimination, plain and simple. We will continue pushing this issue until every LGBT person in this country benefits from the protection that our federal law provides by its plain terms against discrimination because of a person’s sex, including their sexual orientation.”

From Freedom For All Americans:

Today’s ruling is the latest victory affirming that employees should be evaluated only on their work ethic and job performance – not on who they are or who they love. Courts across America are increasingly in agreement that who a person loves has no impact on what they produce in the workplace, and no one should be singled out because of their sexual orientation.

Freedom for All Americans is proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the attorney and legal organizations that made today’s win possible. Momentum is on our side, but we must continue doing the work of winning in both the courts and state legislatures. Our job isn’t done until the patchwork of different state laws is ended and all people are uniformly protected from discrimination, no matter what zip code they call home.

From the ACLU:

Today’s decision is a victory for lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers across the country. There have now been two federal appeals courts to recognize what we’ve always known — that discrimination based on sexual orientation is in fact discrimination, and that there is no room for it in the workplace. This decision is also a repudiation of the Trump administration’s Justice Department, which has insisted that LGBT discrimination is acceptable under federal law.

  • Oscarlating Wildely
    • coram nobis

      Seafood? In a cake?

      • another_steve

        If I make it, you should eat it.

        You want, better, I should die of sorrow?

        • Galvestonian

          Molly was the best …

          • Librarykid

            She wrote all of those shows as well as acted in all and directed, too. A real Baleboosteh was Molly, Aleha ha-shalom.

        • Librarykid

          And BAM! we go instantly from food to death and guilt. So simple when you wear a Guilt Trip Ticket dispenser on your belt.

          • another_steve


            A classic example is when you telephone your mama and she says, “Oh, Stevie. Darling. How are you, dear. I figured you would call today – it’s been such a long time – so I’ve been sitting here by the phone for the past two hours, waiting.”

          • Librarykid

            Better yet, when you call after missing a day or two and the response to hearing you say, “Momma” is “Riboyne Shel O’lem, you’re alive! or Zesser Gottenu, you’re alive! Are you all right?”

      • Nic Peterson

        What better to go with a seaman latte?

      • Oscarlating Wildely
        • PickyPecker

          I have actually used that same fish mold to make salmon mousse. However, mine looked nothing like that. YUK!

          • Lars Littlefield

            Agree. That is inedible!

          • PickyPecker

            Kinda goes with the candleholder bases, tho. Still…

          • carlnsteve

            years ago, at a russian “please to the table party”, there was one of these in aspic on a mirror with blue cubed jello. hours of work. “who did this??” “the guy standing in the corner”- a full dress hunky leatherman. hours of work.
            we haz diversity!

          • I assume yours is both delicious and safe to eat, unlike some others.

          • Donna Lee

            Well salmon mousse is great, with gelatin, I can’t imagine it would be that good.

        • kelven

          Those green olive eyeballs add that extra touch… mmmm, mmmm!

        • David in Tucson

          It looks like something out of The Gallery of Regrettable Food.

    • another_steve

      Was that purple teletubby the gay one?

      • Oscarlating Wildely

        Yep, with his special purple purse. And upside down triangle head fetish butt plug. Occasionally wearing a tutu. A spirit animal for all of us, indeed!

  • bkmn

    Now we need to get this codified into law.

    • j.martindale

      Unless the interpretation of this Appeals Court is overturned by the SCOTUS, it IS law under the ’64 Civil Rights Act.

      • bkmn

        That is what worries me, with a stolen SCOTUS I can see that happening.

    • BobSF_94117

      If this stands, we will never get a law. We won’t “need” one.

      • Falconlights

        “If it stands ” would be the major point here. Given the real possibility that 45 may well manage to pack the SCOTUS with right wing homophobes, we may well “need” a law.

  • JWC

    Good stuff :LAMBDA

  • another_steve

    Unbelievable that in 2018 we still need victories like this one. That discrimination of this type still exists.

    2018. The United States of America.


    • Moebym of the Returners

      Donald Trump is the president (gack!). Nothing is unbelievable anymore.

  • Boreal

    I’m happy but this could easily be overturned by SCOTUS

    • JWC

      with this administration it is NOT time to rest on ones laurels

      • Librarykid

        or rest, period.

        • JWC

          As Obergefell v/s Hodges has always stuck in the GOP craw we can never rest

    • Boreal
      • BobSF_94117

        That is weird. There’s no comment below yours on my screen.

        • Boreal

          Try refreshing the page. Disqus is very quirky of late.

          • PickyPecker

            I see it. It’s from JWC.

    • Ninja0980

      If Kennedy agrees with the dissents or is replaced by a right wing hack, it WILL be overturned.

  • Treant

    Hopefully Ruth is feeling well and Kennedy’s greasy paws aren’t itching to get rid of this. He tends to be…extremely corporate. To be kind.

    • Chris Gardner

      But he has been more than sympathetic to lgbt civil rights issues. He ruled for equality in marriage.

      • Treant

        True, but in any reasonably centrist Court, he’d be considered far right.

  • Lars Littlefield

    This federal court ruling makes me happy, unlike the early showing of Annihilation I attended today. “Spoiler Alert” If you’ve read one or all three parts of Jeff VanderMeer’s “Southern Reach” trilogy, you’re sure to be disappointed by this first film.

    But, yay! It’s nice to know Burger King can’t fire us for having bigger meat than they portion out in their double whoppers. Carry on. 🙂

  • Harveyrabbit
    • Treant

      Get it out of your house before it finds your credit card numbers.

    • m_lp_ql_m

      Who knew Amazon Prime could deliver 7 pounds of catnip same day?

      • another_steve

        You know, I had a related thought recently.

        I just got one of Amazon’s Echo “Alexa” thingies. It’s very nice. When my husband is away or busy with other things, I talk to her.

        But I’m a little concerned my cat will learn to utter “Alexa, order seven pounds of catnip for me.”


        • David in Tucson

          Our cats have a really, really hard time with consonants. The best one of them comes up with is SQUAWK-KH or sometimes the KH all by itself.

          • another_steve

            If you have the Amazon Echo, be careful.

            If one of your babies can utter something resembling “Alexa,” whatever they utter thereafter will show up on your charge card statement.

  • Kevin Andrews

    Thank you Lambda for your diligence and clarity of vision. A great day for all friends of Dorothy.

  • Butch

    OT again but this piece is by one of the survivors of the Florida school shooting. You really need to read it.

  • ‘Til Tuesday

    This is good news indeed, but it is far from settled nationally. The ruling applies in the 2nd Circuit, which is mostly New York, Vermont, and Connecticut. Now it certainly sets precedent that other plaintiffs can use in different Circuits, but that doesn’t mean that a different Circuit couldn’t rule differently. In fact, that’s what often happens.

    It will take a different ruling in another Circuit court for the Supreme Court to take up the matter. We could very well see a different ruling in the 5th or 6th Circuit, which are notoriously conservative.

    The Supreme Court rarely takes up a case just on the ruling of one Circuit. It generally takes opposing rulings from different Circuits for them to take it up and settle it for the whole nation.

  • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

    Question for those smarter than I and with a legal background.

    As I understand, Title VII relates to employment. In the states where discrimination is legal, can they continue to discriminate in housing, public accommodations, etc.? Will it take separate legal action to use this employment law as precedent?

    • The_Wretched

      hrm…looks like being gay or lesbian should be equally protected against work places discrimination to the exact same degree that you’re protected for being black. Which is to say, if things get very bad, you might get the AG to take the case. It’s a huge step in the right direction but there’s still systemic issues. This is federal law so it’d apply in all States, even ones without gay employment rights.

      Practically speaking, you’d still need a smoking gun that showed you were fired for being gay.

      Also, this ruling is fed appeals 2nd circuit. There’s 9 circuit courts of appeal. The other jurisdictions don’t have to follow it but it’d be a lawsuit if they don’t. I expect the 4th would go the other way and then it’s suddenly a SCOTUS issue (assuming it doesn’t wind up there before then).

      Yes, individuals who are discriminated against would need to file suits for local enforcement.

      • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

        I’m specifically asking beyond employment. The ruling seems pretty clear that if you were fired, you can sue for discrimination.

        But what about being denied renting an apartment or the hundreds of other ways that we are discriminated against? Is this ruling narrow and related to employment only?

        • The_Wretched

          Title VII is “public accommodations”. That would include renting. BUT as these things work out, that’ll be another law suit. The bigots aren’t going to give up that easily. Technically it’s a wide impact ruling. Practically, however, the bigots will force the suit on all the regions of impact.

          I’m a bit hesitant since there’s separate housing law. This is a strong case for employment.

          • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

            Thank you. When I had googled, the definition I got

            [Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 is a federal law that prohibits employers from discriminating against employees on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It generally applies to employers with 15 or more employees, including federal, state, and local governments.]

            Seemed to be more narrow. If it includes public accommodations, that’s a bigger win.

          • The_Wretched

            Maybe it’s best as described as ‘implications for public accommodations” including housing. I think that’ll be the next target of a legal strategy. The defintions and such of Title VII are specific for employment only.

          • Jack

            Title VII is employment.

            Title II is public accommodation. Public accommodation, under federal law, does NOT include renting a house or apartment.

        • Jack

          This ruling applies ONLY in the Second Circuit. And the court limited it to Title VII, employment. It would seem to follow that in a case under Title II they would apply the same definition.

          Housing is covered under a different law. But the Second Circuit, to be consistent, would have to apply the same definition.

          Bottom line, in the Second Circuit, caselaw now covers employment discrimination.

          • SkokieGuy / May attempt snark

            Thank you Jack.

    • itsjoe618

      SCOTUS will need to step in at some future date to affirm this decision (or another decision with a case that is similar) to make this applicable on all other federal courts of appeal or they could overrule the lower court. Alternatively, they could decline an appeal of this ruling. That would leave the lower courts split on whether sexual orientation is covered as sex discrimination in employment. So far the 7th & now 2nd Court of Appeals have reversed themselves on this issue & now have ruled that sexual orientation is sex discrimination, with the other circuits going the other way. Hope that clears some things up.

  • Hank
  • margaretpoa

    Good news of course but now they’ll be coming after trans Americans doubly.

  • Gregory Antollino

    This was my case! I pushed it up the hill from the day Don Zarda walked into my office in 2010. I had plenty of help along the way, but I decided to take so many extra steps on appeal that we got this. I notified Joe about it about three times…Nothing. But I was confident and knew this was coming. Thanks for finally noticing JMG!

    • Jack

      Thank YOU and thanks, too, to the co-independent executors for proceeding after Mr. Zarda died.

      • Gregory Antollino

        Thanks I had my eye on this prize and for once I aimed straight, pun intended.

    • AmeriCanadian

      Thank you!!!! I hope it rests and doesn’t get overturned by SCOTUS.

  • Chris Gardner

    Maybe Trump will appoint his gay hairstylist to a seat on SCOTUS the next time one comes open? LOL

    • I’m still waiting for him to appoint the guy who drives his golf cart as Secretary of Transportation.

  • joe ho

    If Trump/Heritage get to appoint another Gorsuch to SCOTUS, it’s doubtful these rulings will stand.

    • fuow

      We can skip the ‘doubtful’. They will not stand.

  • fuow

    The Supreme Court will kill it. All you gay men who voted ‘Green’, stayed home or voted Trump?
    Fuck you.

  • Hue-Man

    Thanks to the courageous individuals who initiated this case and stuck with it (I saw the comment below).

    An outside observer would say that this is the right result: two identical employees work at adjacent desks, doing the same job with the same skill set. One keeps his job. The other is fired because he likes men. This is the very definition of discrimination.

  • JCF

    Happy News!

    “You gotta give them hope.” Harvey Milk