Buzzfeed: DOJ just argued against LGBTQ rights in a case

WASHINGTON — Buzzfeed reported Wednesday night that the Department of Justice argued in a major federal lawsuit that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect LGBTQ workers.

From Buzzfeed:

The Trump administration’s filing is unusual in part because the Justice Department isn’t a party in the case, and the department doesn’t typically weigh in on private employment lawsuits.

But in an amicus brief filed at the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, lawyers under Attorney General Jeff Sessions contend that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans sex discrimination, does not cover sexual orientation.

“The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” says the Justice Department’s brief. “It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”

The Justice Department also contends that Title VII only applies if men and women are treated unequally.

“The essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII is that employees of one sex must be treated worse than similarly situated employees of the other sex, and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect,” the brief says.

“Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts.”

The case kicked off in 2010 when Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor, filed suit against his employer in federal court in New York, alleging the company terminated him for his sexual orientation in violation of Title VII.