Jeff Sessions reversed Department of Justice precedent and rescinded workplace protections for gender identity on Wednesday. In 2011, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an opinion declaring that Title VII, which bans discrimination by sex, as including gender identity. Other courts have agreed, and the consensus has grown to the point where the opinion Sessions cited to legally justify his revocation was a dissent of Hively v Ivy Tech, which affirmed that sexuality was protected in the workplace.
What this means practically is that the DoJ will no longer argue for trans work protections in court, whether forsoldiers, or civilians. Their brief for the dismissal of the military and ROTC members mentions being transgender as a mental disorder, but because professional psychology hasn’t considered that a disorder for decades, they had to refer to the the World Health Organization’s International Classification of Diseases, which was last updated in 1990. A new edition that drops gender identity from a list of disorders is expected next year.
The most galling part of the memo was Sessions’ insistence that he is not anti-trans: ”The Justice Department must and will continue to affirm the dignity of all people, including transgender individuals. Nothing in this memorandum should be construed to condone mistreatment on the basis of gender identity, or to express a policy view on whether Congress should amend Title VII to provide different or additional protections”. This fig leaf of acceptance is pathetic and cowardly. He actively does everything he can to strip work protections, and then claims that he has no animus, as if he is not transparently bigoted.