American Bar Association Passes Resolution Supporting Title VII Protections for Transgender People

By Shane Stahl • February 7, 2018 • 10:05 am

On Monday, February 5, the American Bar Association voted overwhelmingly to pass Resolution 116A, asking U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to reverse a policy denying Title VII employment protections for transgender people.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, an independent federal agency, has held repeatedly that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on sex.  a number of courts have ruled that LGBTQ people are covered under Title VII protections, contrary to the DOJ’s stance.

In addition to the recommendation to Sessions, the American Bar Association’s resolution also includes explicit language specifically designating that the association interprets sex discrimination protections as applicable to transgender people.

“I don’t understand the enthusiasm with which our current justice department seeks to discriminate,” said Walter H. White Jr., of Washington, D.C., speaking in favor of the resolution.

The resolution was sponsored by the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice and the Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.

Learn more about the growing legal consensus that Title VII prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in the Freedom for All Americans Litigation Tracker.

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