The Trump Administration is requesting that the US Supreme Court loosen federal LGBTQI workplace discrimination protections, after filing an amicus brief on Friday.
Title VII of the US Civil Rights Act of 1964, makes it a crime for employers “to fail or refuse to hire” or otherwise discriminate against a prospective or actual employee “because of such individual’s … sex.”
However the Justice Department is arguing that the definition of sex in the Civil Rights Act does not extend to sexuality.
The Justice Department’s brief references protections offered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which are currently being argued in two Supreme Court cases involving employment discrimination.
The 34-page brief, signed off by the US Solicitor General Noel Francisco, argues that while Title VII prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour, religion or national origin, it does not apply to cases of discrimination over sexuality.
“The question here is not whether Title VII should forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation, but whether it already does,” the brief says.
“The statute’s plain text makes clear that it does not; discrimination because of ‘sex’ forbids treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other — and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not result in such treatment.”
The brief also argues that the reason anti-gay discrimination fails to fall under the ban on sex discrimination is because in cases of hostile treatment from an employer, both gay men and gay women “would be similarly situated — and they would be treated the same.”
Essentially, gay men and women would be discriminated against equally, so they argue, it does not amount to sex discrimination.
The Department of Justice submitted a similar brief earlier this month asking Supreme Court Justices to conclude that Title VII does not protect transgender people from employer discrimination.
The move comes after President Donald Trump announced a ban on transgender soldiers serving openly in the US military in April.
Despite these actions, Trump recently said that “I’ve done very well” with the LGBTQI community.