The Trump administration on Wednesday
argued that civil rights laws that protect workers from
discrimination do not apply to transgender employees.
The assertion from the Department of
Justice (DOJ) came in a filing before the Supreme Court, Bloomberg
The high court is considering taking a
case involving a transgender employee from Detroit who was fired
after she revealed to her employer of six years that she was
transitioning. Harris Funeral Homes argued that it had a right to
fire Amiee Stephens under the federal Religious Freedom Restoration
Act (RFRA). The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in March found that
Stephens' firing violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
In its filing before the Supreme Court,
the DOJ asserted that “the ordinary meaning of 'sex' [in the law]
does not refer to gender identity.”
“The Sixth Circuit's opinion …
erases all common, ordinary understandings of the term 'sex' in Title
VII and expands it to include 'gender identity' and 'transgender'
status,” the DOJ brief states. “In doing so, the lower court
rewrites Title VII in a way never intended or implemented by Congress
in the Civil Rights Act of 1964.”
The DOJ brief comes days after The
New York Times reported on a leaked memo calling on federal
agencies to adopt a biological definition of gender which would
exclude transgender people in civil rights law.
proposed rule change would “define transgender out of existence.”)