In a landmark decision, the United State Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has ruled that transgendered employees have protection under Title VII’s prohibition against sex discrimination.
Most concerning, they include language from the District Court’s decision that equates sex rights to religious freedoms:
Imagine that an employee is fired because she converts from Christianity to Judaism. Imagine too that her employer testifies that he harbors no bias toward either Christians or Jews but only ‘converts.’ That would be a clear case of discrimination ‘because of religion.’ No court would take seriously the notion that ‘converts’ are not covered by the statute. Discrimination “because of religion” easily encompasses discrimination because of a change of religion. …
Applying Title VII in this manner does not create a new “class” of people covered under Title VII—for example, the “class” of people who have converted from Islam to Christianity or from Christianity to Judaism. Rather, it would simply be the result of applying the plain language of a statute prohibiting discrimination on the basis of religion to practical situations in which such characteristics are unlawfully taken into account. See Brumby, 663 F.3d at 1318–19 (noting that “all persons, whether transgender or not” are protected from discrimination and “[a]n individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender non-conformity”).
Thus, we conclude that intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender is, by definition, discrimination “based on . . . sex,” and such discrimination therefore violates Title VII. 16
The EEOC isn’t a court or Congress, but this decision gives us a very clear view of how the Commission will view charges of discrimination brought by transgender individuals (although it does not definitively determine how courts will rule).
This is yet another step toward eroding marriage and other precious historical institutions in America.