A Tuesday vigil defends transgender citizens the Administration seeks to bar from the military and challenge Justice Department efforts to remove civil rights under the Civil Rights Law of 1964 by arguing sex discrimination doesn’t apply to sexual orientation or gender identity.
The LGBTQ community and allies are invited to hold a sign of support at the vigil, from 5:30 to 6 p.m. at the Bloomington Center for the Performing Arts Plaza. Participants are invited to wear rainbow colors. The event is sponsored by Stand Up for Social Justice, a non-partisan coalition supported by NIOTBN, YWCA of McLean County, the ACLU of Central Illinois, the Unitarian Universalist Church Bloomington-Normal, New Covenant Community church, Indivisible Illinois 18 and Indivisible Illinois 13.
Lambda Legal, an LGBT rights group, is gearing up to sue the Trump administration over President Trump's proposal to ban transgender people from serving in the military.
Trump announced via Twitter that he would revive a policy barring transgender people from serving openly in the military. But that announcement came with no formal guidance and the Pentagon said it would continue to allow transgender people to serve until it received new direction from the White House.
A report published Friday by the Los Angeles Blade, however, indicated that the White House had approved guidance for implementing the ban, which Lambda legal called a "mean-spirited and discriminatory attack" on the LGBT community.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has filed court papers arguing that a major federal civil rights law does not protect employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation, taking a stand against a decision reached under President Barack Obama.
The department’s move to insert itself into a federal case in New York was an unusual example of top officials in Washington intervening in court in what is an important but essentially private dispute between a worker and his boss over gay rights issues.
“The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination,” the Justice Department said in a friend-of-the-court brief, citing the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars discrimination in the workplace based on “race, color, religion, sex or national origin.” “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.”