I have written about the Trump/Pence regime's war against LGBT Americans before for the simple reason that it is never ending. Yesterday, the Trump Department of Justice filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that none of the nation's non-discrimination laws protect LGBT individuals from being summarily fired simply because of who they are. One motivation for the regime is to thrill Christofascists - who are near orgasmic whenever Trump/Pence harms gays - to keep them loyal. Another, in my view, is Pence's deep internalized homophobia that causes him to seek to inflict harm on other gays (Pence, in my view, bears all the hallmarks of a closeted gay like former Virginia Congressman Ed Schrock who I helped "out" over a decade ago). This is an issue I am passionate about, having been forced from a law firm for being gay. The financial and emotional harm was horrific and lead to two suicide attempts. Despite a job that has me making good money again, I will never be in the place I would have been but for being a target of anti-gay bigotry. Should the Trump/Pence regime argument prevail, countless LGBT individuals will either suffer being fired or be forced to remain closeted at work, a truly stressful experience that harms both productivity and one's emotional health. Here are highlights from The Advocate's review of Trump/Pence's latest assault against gay Americans:
As expected, Donald Trump’s administration has filed a brief with the Supreme Court urging the justices to rule that it’s legal to fire workers because of their sexual orientation.The administration made the same argument last week regarding gender identity as the court prepares to hear cases October 8 involving employment discrimination against gay and transgender people.
That day the court will hear a consolidated case involving two incidents where workers say they were fired for being gay; one was a skydiving instructor in New York and the other a social worker in Georgia. It will also hear a case regarding a Michigan funeral director fired after her gender transition.
The cases turn on whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forbids sex discrimination, also applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In the New York and Michigan cases, federal appeals courts ruled that it does, but in the Georgia case, the appeals court ruled that it does not.
Solicitor General Noel Francisco, whose position is part of the Department of Justice, today filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that it most definitely does not, . . . Lawyers and judges have contended that it’s reasonable to interpret a law banning sex discrimination as also banning sexual orientation discrimination — if a man who is attracted to men is treated differently from a woman attracted to men, it’s discrimination.
Francisco’s latest brief echoes the language of the one he filed last week in the transgender case.
Last week’s was not a friend-of-the-court brief; it was filed because the federal government is a party to the case, with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission having taken up the case of Michigan funeral director Aimee Stephens. (The Trump administration has now ordered the EEOC, a quasi-independent federal agency, to cease defending the rights of trans people.) Friend-of-the-court briefs are filed by individuals and organizations that are not directly involved in a case but have an interest in its outcome.
“The friend-of-the-court brief — which was completely voluntary — was among several filed this week urging the Supreme Court to rule anti-gay discrimination is permitted under federal law,” the Blade notes. “Other briefs include filings from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Alabama-based Foundation for Moral Law, which has ties to anti-LGBT Senate candidate Roy Moore.”
Not all Republicans endorse the administration’s position, however. A group of prominent Republicans, although not including any current officeholders, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the upcoming cases to argue that Title VII indeed covers discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Physicians, clergy members, major businesses, and more have filed similar briefs.
But the administration’s stance belies Trump’s recent assertion that he’s “done very well” by LGBTQ people. It’s part of a pattern of endorsing discrimination, with the transgender military ban, revocation of trans-inclusive guidelines for public schools, and support for health care providers’ and federal contractors’ right to discriminate against anyone who offends their religious beliefs.
“This is the Trump Administration’s 124th attack on LGBTQ people since taking office and they join Roy Moore in opposition to workplace protections for LGBTQ people,” said a statement released by GLAAD. A ruling in the discrimination cases is expected by next June.