It’s Okay to Fire People for Being Gay, DOJ Argues

Should this country allow businesses to fire employees simply because of their sexual orientation? It seems like a question this country settled as a firm no long ago, but never underestimate the power of the Trump administration to try to pointlessly try to reignite a culture war anyway.

This past week, the U.S. Department of Justice somewhat surprisingly joined in on a federal case to argue that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not actually prevent LGBTQ Americans from getting terminated on the basis of their sexuality. Donald Zarda, who alleges his former employer Altitude Express fired him because he is gay, originally filed the case.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission followed precedent and took the side of the plaintiff to protect the LGBTQ workerís rights, but that didnít stop the DOJ from entering the ring to pose a counterargument.

Even Judge Rosemary Pooler couldnít help but point out how ridiculous this situation is. ďItís a little bit awkward for us to have the federal government on both sides of the case,Ē she said.

Itís worth nothing that the EEOC is still run by a Barack Obama appointee. Given the administrationís stance, itís likely that a Trump pick in this position would not fight for the rights of LGBTQ employees.

By most accounts, the DOJ made a fool of itself in court with weak arguments. The DOJís main contention is that the Civil Rights Act shouldnít apply in this case because it pertains to sex discrimination, not sexual orientation discrimination.

This idea flies in the face of most previous rulings. In brief, rules against sex discrimination are pertinent to cases of sexual orientation because they involve sex. If, for example, a boss did not mind his male employee having intercourse with a woman but did mind if he had intercourse with a man, that would be sex discrimination because the only difference is the sex of the romantic partner.

Itís not even the first LGBTQ case the DOJ has needlessly attached itself to this month. A few weeks ago, Jeff Sessions joined the side of a baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple in an upcoming Supreme Court case. If the lower court rulings are any indication, the baker and the DOJ donít have a winning case.

In addition to being cruel, these fights are frankly stupid for the White House to try to pick. Time and time again, courts have reaffirmed that LGBTQ Americans are protected in the workplace. The DOJ is not equipped to counter that narrative.

Then again, it doesnít seem like the Trump administration is all that concerned about actually coming out on these cases. More likely, it is an attempt to appeal to Trumpís homophobic base Ė voters who like to see a White House that shares their views on LGBTQ people even if they ultimately fail to thwart progress.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

98 comments

Paulo R
Paulo Reeson2 days ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson2 days ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson2 days ago

ty

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Paulo R
Paulo Reeson2 days ago

ty

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Veronica Danie
Veronica D7 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica D7 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica Danie
Veronica D7 days ago

Thank you so very much.

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Elaine W
Elaine W8 days ago

No, it is not O.K. It is ignorant.

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Joan E
Joan E11 days ago

That is a wrongheaded and evil argument.

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Jennifer H
Jennifer H13 days ago

Well, as we have seen...the US doesn't see much "justice" any more.

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