Trump-appointed judge blocks Biden from enforcing LGBTQ civil rights protections

Trump-appointed judge blocks Biden from enforcing LGBTQ civil rights protections
Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy.
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A federal district court judge has issued a temporary block against President Joe Biden, stopping the administration from enforcing LGBTQ civil rights protections in employment and education the President had put into place upon taking office. That order comes in response to a lawsuit filed by 20 right-wing state attorneys general.

Judge Charles E. Atchley Jr., who took his seat on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee less than one month before Donald Trump left office, ordered the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to cease implementation of the protections that are consistent with a ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court. That 2020 ruling was authored by conservative Justice Neil Gorsuch, and found anti-LGBTQ discrimination is sex discrimination and prohibited by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and by the 1972 Title IX statute.

President Biden, upon taking office, had issued several critical executive orders protecting LGBTQ people.

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On his first day in office President Biden signed a landmark executive order that was described as “the most sweeping expansion of LGBTQ rights in American history.”

Just one month ago, as NCRM reported, President Biden extended his executive order, declaring it is the policy of the United States Government to defend the “rights and safety” of LGBTQI+ individuals via another historic executive order that encompasses several executive branch agencies and extends that policy into international areas.

That new order effectively directs the federal government to use its resources to work to ban dangerous and harmful “conversion therapy” – not just in the U.S. but “around the world,” and to support and protect LGBTQIA+ youth and older LGBTQIA+ individuals in areas including health care, education, housing, and justice.

Reporting on Judge Atchley’s order blocking LGBTQ protections, The New York Times noted, “Justice Neil M. Gorsuch, writing for the majority, said that ‘it is impossible to discriminate against a person for being homosexual or transgender without discriminating against that individual based on sex.'”

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“Before that decision,” the paper added, “it was legal in more than half of the states to fire workers for being gay, bisexual or transgender.”

The Times also quotes Jennifer C. Pizer, the acting chief legal officer of Lambda Legal, who said of the right-wing attorneys general lawsuit, that “for these many states to argue so aggressively that they must be free to discriminate against their own residents is alarming and appalling.”

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