Thursday, March 26, 2020

The Times, They Are A Changin’

Under the Obama administration we made great headway in gaining our rights. The courts ruled in our favor, the Department of Justice said that Title VII and Title IX covered us. To paraphrase one federal appeals court judge, he said just like being discriminated against for changing your religion is still religious discrimination so is changing your gender sex disdcrimination.

However, the Trump administration has taken an anti-LGBTQ+ stance.
DOJ Says Title IX Doesn't Cover Transgender Status of High School Athletes
The Justice Department has weighed in on a Connecticut case that addresses whether transgender students can take part in girl's sports.
By Robert Storace
March 25, 2020

Saying the federal government “has a significant interest in the proper interpretation of Title IX,” the U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in a case that could decide whether transgender athletes can compete in girl’s high school sports in Connecticut.

In its 13-page brief, the Justice Department on Tuesday took aim at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, the primary defendant in a lawsuit in which three high school girls claim they are at a disadvantage in competing with transgender athletes in sports such as track and field.
This is an 180 degree turn from the Obama administration.
Nina Pirrotti, a partner with New Haven-based Garrison, Levin-Epstein, Fitzgerald & Pirrotti, said the Trump administration often gets involved in litigation across the country siding against the interest of the LGBTQ community.

“The broader issue is that they are using Title IX as a sword, rather than a shield. It’s about trying to marginalize one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, which are transgender people,” Pirrotti said,

Pirrotti continued: “Everything the Trump administration has done with respect to Title IX is consistent with this approach. It’s chipping away at Title IX protections and that includes transgender people. This narrows the class of people who can seek protection under Title IX.”
And Trump and the Republicans have packed the courts with judges who are anti-LGBTQ+. In the past  the amicus curiae briefs from the Obama administration were favorable, now they are all negative and relying on antiquated 1950s belief that only chromosomes determine gender.

And here is the kicker…
The Justice Department’s brief was signed by Matthew Donnelly, an attorney in the Civil Rights Division.
The  Civil Rights Division has become an anti-civil rights department narrowing the definition of civil rights to just “religious freedom.”

Justice Dept. Religious Freedom Training Spurs Concern Among Lawyers
Some department lawyers expressed worries that the workshops were held to teach ways to limit civil rights protections for gay and transgender people.
The New York Times
By Katie Benner
March 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department this week hosted training for its lawyers on religious liberty laws as part of Attorney General William P. Barr’s push to prioritize religious freedom cases, but the workshops prompted concern among some career lawyers that they were being educated on ways to blunt civil rights protections for gay and transgender people.

Lawyers who worked at the Justice Department during the past three administrations could not recall a similar week of training sessions on any topic that were open to all employees, regardless of which section they worked in.

The training week was part of an ongoing campaign at the department to bolster ​its work to​ protect religious freedom, which is regularly described by top leaders as the first right protected by the First Amendment​, a department official said in response to a request for comment.
This is just a tip of the iceberg.

Mark my words… you are going to see this so called “religious freedom” exemption not only applied against LGBTQ+ people, but also against race, religion, and marital status.
It is against my religion… to allow blacks in my store!
It is against my religion… to allow an unmarried couple to stay in my apartment building
It is against my religion… to hire a Jew.
You can justify all of those because somewhere in the Bible you can find something banning all those.
Defenders of slavery noted that in the Bible, Abraham had slaves. They point to the Ten Commandments, noting that "Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's house, ... nor his manservant, nor his maidservant." In the New Testament, Paul returned a runaway slave, Philemon, to his master, and, although slavery was widespread throughout the Roman world, Jesus never spoke out against it.
The focus on us because we are the low fruit, we are easy picking.

The Supreme Court will issue a ruling in June on the cases they heard in October on Titles VII IX cases, my prediction is that Chief Justice Roberts will be the swing vote and he will vote in favor of an inclusive Civil Rights Act, not an exclusive law. 

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