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Letter to Donald Trump, President of the United States - Members of Congress to President Trump: Remove Policies Discriminating Against LGBTQ Individuals

Letter

By: Tammy Baldwin, Maria Cantwell, Patty Murray, Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Sheldon Whitehouse, Jack Reed, Bob Casey, Jr., Jeff Merkley, Ron Wyden, Sherrod Brown, Kirsten Gillibrand, Jacky Rosen, Catherine Cortez Masto, Cory Booker, Bob Menendez, Maggie Hassan, Tina Smith, Amy Klobuchar, Debbie Stabenow, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., Elizabeth Warren, Tammy Duckworth, Dick Durbin, Mazie Hirono, Brian Schatz, Chris Coons, Tom Carper, Chris Murphy, Richard Blumenthal, Kamala Harris, Gwen Moore, Mark Pocan, Kim Schrier, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Peter Welch, Jennifer Wexton, Sylvia Garcia, Veronica Escobar, David Cicilline, Susan Wild, Mary Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, Brendan Boyle, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Tim Ryan, Joe Morelle, Sean Maloney, Eliot Engel, José Serrano, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Nydia Velázquez, Grace Meng, Gregory Meeks, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Deb Haaland, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Albio Sires, Frank Pallone, Jr., Chris Pappas, Ilhan Omar, Betty McCollum, Angie Craig, Andy Levin, Elissa Slotkin, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, Stephen Lynch, Ayanna Pressley, Seth Moulton, Ed Markey, Katherine Clark, Joe Kennedy III, Lori Trahan, John Yarmuth, Sharice Davids, Lauren Underwood, Bill Foster, Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Alcee Hastings, Sr., Kathy Castor, Darren Soto, Eleanor Norton, John Larson, Jason Crow, Diana DeGette, Susan Davis, Scott Peters, Alan Lowenthal, Katie Porter, Mark Takano, Gil Cisneros, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Ted Lieu, Grace Napolitano, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, T. J. Cox, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Ro Khanna, Eric Swalwell, Jackie Speier, Mark DeSaulnier, Ami Bera, Jared Huffman, Ann Kirkpatrick, Dianne Feinstein
Date: July 9, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

Dear President Trump:

In light of the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, we request that your Administration direct all relevant agencies to undertake a review of all regulations, executive orders, and agency policies that implicate legal protections for LGBTQ individuals under federal civil rights laws.

Since taking office, your Administration has repeatedly issued dozens of regulatory and agency actions premised almost entirely on the claim that federal bans on sex discrimination do not prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. This argument attempts to sanction discrimination against LGBTQ people in a broad range of critical arenas, including in employment, health care, housing, and education. (See Attachment).

On June 15th, the Supreme Court decisively rejected this argument when it ruled in Bostock v. Clayton County that prohibitions on sex discrimination in federal civil rights laws include sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination. As the Court explained in a 6-3 decision authored by Justice Neil Gorsuch "[a]n employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids."

The Supreme Court's opinion in Bostock addressed the meaning of "sex" discrimination under Title VII. But the Court's reasoning applies with equal force to the term "sex" as used in several other federal civil rights laws -- including those passed alongside Title VII to ban discrimination in housing and education, amongst others.

Your Administration argued against the employees in Bostock -- taking the position that employers were free to fire LGBTQ workers simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Specifically, your Administration argued that Title VII's "plain text makes clear that it does not" "forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation" and that applying Title VII to gender identity discrimination "would transform Title VII into a blanket prohibition on all sex-specific workplace practices."

The Supreme Court's unambiguous rejection of these discriminatory arguments means that the harmful policies put in place by your Administration to permit discrimination against the LGBTQ community must immediately be reviewed and revoked or revised to make clear that protections apply to all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. The law requires this action. We therefore ask that the Administration immediately:

Identify the steps it is taking to implement the Bostock decision and fully enforce our nation's civil rights laws that prohibit sex discrimination.

Review and revoke or revise all federal agency regulations, federal agency policies, and executive orders permitting discrimination against LGBTQ people, including but not limited to those on the attached list, and conduct a complete review to address all potentially discriminatory regulations, policies, or actions that require revocation or revision because they are now in direct conflict with the law.
All people should have confidence that their federal government is working to protect -- not undermine -- their rights. We therefore ask that you take immediate steps to ensure that LGBTQ people enjoy the full protections of the nation's federal civil rights laws.

We appreciate your immediate attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,


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