The Supreme Court ruled last summer that discrimination against gay and lesbian in the workplace protected the same as sexual discrimination.
The Department of Justice under President Joe Biden is reversing the Trump administration’s last-ditch effort to hinder the expansion of LGBTQ rights.
According to Politico,
Greg Friel, the lawyer just named to oversee the Justice Department’s civil rights division on a temporary basis, issued a directive Friday revoking a 22-page memorandum a Trump appointee released earlier this week taking a cramped view of a major Supreme Court decision last year that longstanding federal law protects LGBTQ individuals from discrimination at work.
In withdrawing the parting-shot memo from the prior administration, Friel said the stance taken in the memo conflicted with a first-day executive order Biden issued promising a vigorous battle against discrimination based on “gender identity or sexual orientation.”
Friel wrote to civil rights division,
“I have determined that this memorandum is inconsistent in many respects with the E.O. [Executive Order]
“I plan to confer with Department leadership about issuing revised guidance that comports with the policy set forth in the E.O. As part of that process, we will seek the input of Division subject matter experts.”
The unexpected, 6-3, Supreme Court ruling last June concluded that a half-century-old prohibition on sex discrimination in employment applies equally to discrimination against gay, lesbian and transgender workers.
Written by Trump-appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, the decision did not explicitly extend the same rationale to discrimination in areas like education or housing.
The Trump administration released the memo publicly one day before Trump left office. counseled against such interpretation and often seemed more enamored of Justice Samuel Alito’s dissent in the Bostock case than the majority opinion.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Daukas wrote in the memo, (dated Sunday)
“We must hesitate to apply the reasoning of Bostock to different texts, adopted at different times, in different contexts.”
By late Friday, the lengthy memo from Daukas had disappeared from the DOJ’s website.