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Justice Department wants EEOC to reverse stance on LGBTQ rights: report



The Justice Department is seeking to persuade a federal employment rights agency to change their stance on LGBTQ discrimination in an upcoming Supreme Court case, according to a Bloomberg Law report.

Under the Trump administration, the Justice Department reportedly wants the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to back them up in their stance that it would not be a violation of law for businesses to discriminate against transgender employees, sources told Bloomberg Law.

The Obama administration previously held that the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which states that employers can’t discriminate based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin, also applies to LGBTQ persons. The EEOC currently follows that Obama-era rule. The Trump administration DOJ holds that Congress did not have the LGBTQ community in mind when passing the 1964 law.

The case, involving Aimee Stephens, a transgender funeral worker from Michigan who was fired from her job after announcing her transition, will appear before the Supreme Court on October 8.

The Justice Department has until Friday to outline their reasons for the reversal before the case appears before the Supreme Court.

Read more: The Trump administration declared that a landmark federal law doesn’t protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination

Though the EEOC initially sued on behalf of Stephens, the Justice Department is now handling the case and urging the EEOC to change its stance on the case, Bloomberg Law reported.

Representatives for the Justice Department and the EEOC did not immediately respond to emails from INSIDER for comment.

Members of the five-person commission — which has two current vacancies and a 2-1 Republican majority — have previously expressed their thoughts on the matter, according to Bloomberg Law. Commissioners Victoria Lipnic, a Republican, and Charlotte Burrows, a Democrat, have said “they believe that LGBT discrimination is a form of sex bias already banned by federal law,” Bloomberg Law wrote.

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