WASHINGTON — In a brief filed Friday, the Trump Administration told the U.S. Supreme Court that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 doesn’t apply to anti-LGBTQ discrimination.
The Washington Blade reported that the brief was filed by U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco.
“The question here is not whether Title VII should forbid employment discrimination because of sexual orientation, but whether it already does,” the brief says, according to the Blade. “The statute’s plain text makes clear that it does not; discrimination because of ‘sex’ forbids treating members of one sex worse than similarly situated members of the other — and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, standing alone, does not result in such treatment.”
The brief was filed in the consolidated case of Bostock v. Clayton County and Zarda v. Attitude Express, both of which involve people who were fired for being gay. The Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments on the case on Oct. 8. A decision would come out in 2020, almost in the middle of the presidential campaign.
The Blade said that the argument in the friend-of-the-court brief uses similar language to an argument filed earlier this week in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC, where a transgender woman sued after she was fired. Because the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was a plaintiff, the government had issue an argument, which is a 180 from the previous administration that had argued for LGBTQ employees.
The Trump administration is pressuring the Labor Department and EEOC to change its policy on LGBTQ, which was established under the Obama administration.