LGBT Groups Launch Petition Drive Against Anti-Transgender LawsuitBy Adam Polaski • October 5, 2016 • 11:35 am
Today Freedom for All Americans (FFAA) and more than a dozen state equality campaigns and organizations across the country launched a petition drive calling out attempts to roll back existing protections for transgender Americans. We are proud to join with many of our partners in launching a petition to hold elected officials accountable in the 23 states suing the Obama administration over the way it has interpreted prohibitions on “sex discrimination” to include discrimination based on gender identity.
For years the federal government has interpreted existing Title IX and Title VII laws to extend coverage to transgender Americans. Because of the Administration’s actions, public schools must respect students’ gender identity when it comes to using the restroom, health care companies are not allowed to deny coverage to patients just for being transgender, and transgender workers have a path to legal recourse if they are fired for being who they are.
But now, this lawsuit is working to strip away all of these protections.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading the charge in this lawsuit. Paxton and his allies successfully placed the first of two lawsuits challenging the Administration before Reed O’Connor, a notoriously anti-LGBT federal judge. O’Connor issued a sweeping injunction this summer that not only imperils protections for transgender students under Title IX, but also questions Title VII protections that ensure transgender employees don’t face discrimination in the workplace.
Matt McTighe, Executive Director of Freedom for All Americans, said today:
“We’re seeing officials in some states engaging in reprehensible tactics to advance an agenda that targets transgender people – particularly transgender youth – for discrimination. Our opponents need to understand that this is about much more than bluster and politics – their actions send a message to young transgender people that they are not worthy of dignity and respect. That’s a dangerous and shameful message to send to at-risk youth who need to feel safe in school.”
Twelve states and the District of Columbia have joined together to sign an amicus brief defending transgender Americans as part of the Texas v. United States lawsuit. In that amicus brief, the supportive states noted:
“While Plaintiffs’ claimed harms are hypothetical, the discrimination suffered by transgender individuals is all too real. Such discrimination harms transgender individuals at work, at school, and in public, causing tangible economic, emotional, and health consequences. .…And contrary to Plaintiffs’ claims, our shared experience demonstrates that protecting the civil rights of our transgender friends, relatives, classmates, and colleagues creates no public safety threat and imposes no meaningful financial burden.”