Demand Department of Justice Respect LGBT Workers

Target: Jeff Sessions, United States Attorney General

Goal: Recognize equal rights for LGBT workers.

The Trump administration has intensified its attack on LGBT rights by claiming employers are free to discriminate against LGBT workers under federal law. In a document submitted to a federal appeals court in New York, the Department of Justice argued the Civil Rights Act doesn’t protect LGBT workers.

“The essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act] is that employees of one sex must be treated worse than similar situated employees of the other sex, and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect,” acting Justice Department Civil Division chief Chad Readler and acting Civil Rights Division head Tom Wheeler wrote.

This flies in the face of a conclusion reached by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission under the Obama administration, which concluded LGBT discrimination is covered by law. Moreover, to raise this issue, the Department of Justice took the unusual measure of intervening in a lawsuit–seemingly without invitation. The suit involved an employer being accused of firing a worker for their sexual orientation.

If you believe all of us deserve equal rights at work, please sign this petition urging the Department of Justice to recognize discrimination based on sexual orientation for what it is: an affront to equal rights.


Dear Attorney General Sessions,

For years, it’s been broadly recognized that discrimination based on sexual orientation is unacceptable in the workplace. Sadly, the Department of Justice appears to disagree. This isn’t a surprise to those of us who understand your views on LGBT rights. You have been known to associate with the Alliance Defending Freedom, an organization labeled an “anti-LGBT hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center. This group has been accused of lobbying to criminalize homosexuality across the world, not to mention riling against same-sex marriage in the U.S.

Groups like this are now very much on the political fringe and do not reflect the opinions of most Americans. The same could be said of your opinions, which appear to be opposed to concepts like freedom and equality. The Department of Justice should represent the popular will of the people, not your own private crusade against the LGBT community. We therefore urge you and the department to recognize equality for LGBT workers, including protecting them from dismissal based on sexual orientation.

[Your Name Here]


Photo Credit: Ludovic Bertron

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