THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT —
UPDATE – May 21, 2012 – Masen Davis, Executive Director [of the Transgender Law Center], celebrated today saying, “This is a historic day for human rights in the United States. . . . starting today transgender and gender non-conforming people now have legal recourse if they face discrimination on the job. We no longer have to be silent when we are fired or not hired . . . If you think you are being targeted with harassment or discrimination at work, I urge you to contact your local EEOC office and file a complaint.” More info from the Transgender Law Center: http://transgenderlawcenter.org/cms/blogs/552-24
LBJ’s Great Society finally helps transgender people — this is a MAJOR federal-level anti-discrimination break for trans people. We’ve entered a new era and I believe we have Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to thank for this, so I’m going to take a moment to do just that.
It was Kennedy who initially pushed for a Civil Rights bill but upon his death, it fell to Johnson see that it became law. LBJ, who had previously served as a powerful Congressional leader called in IOUs and strong armed Congress into enacting the law.
Johnson: “No memorial oration or eulogy could more eloquently honor President Kennedy’s memory than the earliest possible passage of the civil rights bill for which he fought so long.”
After the Civil Rights Act became law, LBJ pushed his Great Society program, targeting, among many other things, poverty and racial injustice. Progress was made, but his misadventures in the Vietnam war caused much to be left undone and some laws not as strong as they ought to be.
We have to remember LBJ knowingly gave up a lot of political capital to get these civil right laws enacted — a large part of the country, Democrats included, didn’t want to see black people, women and others afforded equal rights, but Johnson wanted to do the right thing for society. We need to be grateful for this. I can’t imagine any kind of sweeping civil rights laws passing today. Indeed, TG people obtained job anti-discrimination protection today as a result of a law passed in in 1964.
From an article by Chris Geidner of MetroWeekly: An employer who discriminates against an employee or applicant on the basis of the person’s gender identity is violating the prohibition on sex discrimination contained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, according to an opinion issued on April 20 by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The opinion, experts say, could dramatically alter the legal landscape for transgender workers across the nation. . . .
[the decision] comes on the heels of a growing number of federal appellate and trial courts deciding that gender-identity discrimination constitutes sex discrimination, whether based on Title VII or the constitutional guarantee of equal protection of the laws.
The EEOC decision, issued without objection by the five-member, bipartisan commission, will apply to all EEOC enforcement and litigation activities at the commission and in its 53 field offices throughout the country. . . .
Transgender Law Center’s Masen Davis: ”Given the incredibly high rate of employment discrimination facing transgender people, this is incredibly significant for us” . . .”Given that transgender people do not have employment protections in the vast majority of states, this creates a whole new fabric of legal support for our community.”
Read the full story: Transgender Breakthrough: EEOC ruling that gender-identity discrimination is covered by Title VII is a ”sea change” that opens the doors to employment protection for transgender Americans: News section: Metro Weekly.
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