Trump Justice Department Issues Two Attacks on Transgender Community in One Day
Donald Trump Keeps Proving He Is No Friend Of Transgender People
During his campaign for president, Republican Donald Trump claimed he would “fight” for the “LGBT community”. His actions as president and the actions of his Justice Department, however, have proven that statement to be a complete sham. And today was a prime example of just how much the Trump administration will disrespect the people to which he clearly lied, particularly the transgender community.
BuzzFeed’s Dominic Holden reported on two shots the administration took at transgender people through the Jeff Sessions-led Justice Department. First, the Justice Department tried to have a case blocking the impending ban on transgender troops serving in the military dismissed, partly based on a rather awful premise. The challenge stated it was too early make a judgement on the case since the policy was not in effect and wasn’t hurting anyone:
“No actual discharge or denial of accession has occurred, and they will not suffer a hardship if the Court withholds consideration until after the policies challenged in this case are implemented and are found to impact Plaintiffs,” the government attorneys continued in their 44-page brief.
In other words, they ludicrously claim there is no harm to any transgender troops until the policy is actually fully implemented. It’s not difficult to realize the very harsh reality of the policy announcement itself proves that to be entirely wrong.
And it should be noted that nearly half of all transgender people will attempt suicide in their lifetime, roughly ten times the rate of the general population. And policy announcements and changes matter when it comes to this. The suicide hotline for transgender people in North Carolina saw a doubling of its call volume after the passing of the infamously terrible bathroom bill.
But the Donald Trump Justice Department was not done attacking the transgender community for the day. In a memo obtained by BuzzFeed, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the Justice Department would be dumping a policy that protected transgender people from discrimination in the workplace. Sessions wrote:
“Although federal law, including Title VII, provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se,” Sessions writes. “This is a conclusion of law, not policy. As a law enforcement agency, the Department of Justice must interpret Title VII as written by Congress.”
While Sessions may claim he is on sound legal footing, one expert told BuzzFeed the claim is not just malarkey, but purely political.
But Sharon McGowan, a former lawyer in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and now an attorney for the LGBT group Lambda Legal, countered that Sessions is ignoring a widespread trend in federal courts.
“It’s ironic for them to say this is law, and not policy,” McGowan told BuzzFeed News. “The memo is devoid of discussion of the way case law has been developing in this area for the last few years. It demonstrates that this memo is not actually a reflection of the law as it is — it’s a reflection of what the DOJ wishes the law were.”
It may sound like a broke record to say it at this point, but Republican Donald Trump is no friend to transgender people. He never has been as president, and it’s clear he never will be.
Featured image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images.
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