Anti-gay discrimination is sex discrimination, says the EEOC and Jeb Bush supports Pentagon move to allow transgender military service

Anti-gay discrimination is sex discrimination, says the EEOC

Advocates welcome ‘historic’ US ruling on workplace discrimination but urge for federal law

‘Employers that continue to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity do so at their own peril’

Advocates welcome ‘historic’ US ruling on workplace discrimination but urge for federal law

July 16 at 11:20 PM

The Supreme Court may not think bans on gay marriage are sex discrimination, but the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission thinks anti-gay discrimination in the workplace is. The EEOC, in a 3-2 vote, has concluded that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids sexual orientation discrimination on the job because it’s a form “sex” discrimination, which is explicitly forbidden.  The opinion is 17 pages long, although the portion dealing with anti-gay employment discrimination is only pp. 5-14. The opinion follows by three years a decision from the EEOC that discrimination based on gender identity is also sex discrimination. That ruling on transgender employment rights has been broadly accepted by the federal courts.

The EEOC’s view on sexual orientation, however, runs counter to the rulings of several circuit courts. These courts have reasoned that “sexual orientation” is not among the list of prohibited bases for employment action, that Congress did not intend to eliminate anti-gay discrimination when it enacted Title VII, and that Congress has repeatedly refused to add “sexual orientation” to employment protections.

The EEOC calls these earlier circuit court decisions “dated,” and some of them have been undermined by subsequent precedents in the same circuits recognizing that gender stereotyping, including gender stereotypes evidenced by anti-gay comments, is sex discrimination. Indeed, the Commission argues, the concept of sex discrimination as it has been elucidated over the years by the federal courts, including the Supreme Court, is broad enough to encompass sexual orientation discrimination. Such discrimination, it notes, rests on stereotypes about how men and women should behave and punishes employees for their association with others of the same sex. “‘Sexual orientation’ as a concept,” the commission held, “cannot be defined or understood without reference to sex.”

The interesting question now is how many circuit courts will go along with the EEOC’s new interpretation of Title VII. The EEOC’s views on the scope of Title VII are considered persuasive, but not binding, authority on the courts. The next president could appoint commission members who feel differently about the meaning of Title VII, and they could reverse this divided opinion.  Either way, a circuit split on the issue could be resolved by the Supreme Court in the next few years.

If the EEOC’s ruling sticks, it will have accomplished what more than 40 years of legislative advocacy in Congress could not: full protection of gay men and lesbians from job discrimination throughout the United States. But the ultimate influence of the commission’s ruling could be even broader. Sex discrimination is forbidden by federal law in housing and in education, as well as in other areas. If anti-transgender and anti-gay discrimination are forms of sex discrimination in employment, why wouldn’t they also be forms of sex discrimination in housing and education? While the EEOC isn’t charged with interpreting and enforcing those other federal laws, the commission’s reasoning could easily be applied beyond employment.

And here is another great news from the Republican party which is considered an antigay party ;

Jeb Bush supports Pentagon move to allow transgender military service

Jeb Bush supports Pentagon move to allow transgender military service


Jeb Bush supports Pentagon move to allow transgender military service

SAN FRANCISCO — Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush told Yahoo News today that he was “fine” with transgender people openly serving in the U.S. military so long as the Pentagon determines that doing so would not compromise morale within the armed forces.

The Obama administration announced this week that it would start the process of lifting military’s ban on transgender service. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has ordered a 6-month review to develop guidelines for implementation and study the policy implications of the move. He called the ban “outdated.”

Bush, who had not commented on the new proposed policy until today, said “ …if you can accommodate people who are transgendered and deal with making sure the military’s comfortable with this and making sure that the overriding principle ought to be how do we create the highest morale for the greatest fighting force the world has ever seen … and if you can accommodate those two concerns, then fine.”

Allowing transgender people to openly serve would spell one of the military’s last gender or sexually-based service exclusions. The ban on gays serving in the military was lifted in 2011. Bush has, however gingerly, waded into a social policy debate that a few years ago would have been unthinkable. But with the Supreme Court’s decision last month upholding the constitutionality of gay marriage and with increasing acceptance of gay and transgender rights across the culture, politicians of all ideological stripes have found themselves grappling with the issue of sexual tolerance and in some cases changing their positions. Bush criticized the court’s ruling in the gay marriage case, but has not called for a Constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage as some Republican 2016 candidates have.

Watch Jeb Bush’s full interview with Yahoo News now


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