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    BIG NEWS: Eric Holder Announces Transgender People Are Covered By Civil Rights Act

    Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder today stated the historic Civil Rights Act Of 1964 indeed covers transgender people.

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    Eric Holder, in a policy reversal, today issued a memo stating that "the best reading" of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does protect transgender people from sex discrimination, Buzzfeed reports today.

    “I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” the outgoing head of the Justice Department said.

    “This important shift will ensure that the protections of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are extended to those who suffer discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder added. “This will help to foster fair and consistent treatment for all claimants. And it reaffirms the Justice Department’s commitment to protecting the civil rights of all Americans.”

    The Washington Blade wonders if the new policy could extend to sexual orientation.

    "One question is whether the Justice Department will also interpret the prohibition on gender discrimination under Title VII to also cover claims based on sexual orientation," Chris Johnson at the Blade writes.

    In response to pending litigation filed by Peter TerVeer, who says he was fired by the Library of Congress because for being gay, the Justice Department has said he made inadequate claims to demonstrate he has standing to sue under Title VII.

    The Washington Blade has placed a request in with the Justice Department to inquire if the Obama administration is considering interpretation of Title VII to cover claims based on sexual orientation.

    Other groups are looking at the policy change as a good opportunity to advance equality. In a press release the American Military Partner Association (AMPA), said it is "calling on the Defense Department to end its currently unjustified sex discrimination against transgender troops by lifting the ban against open and honest service."

    And more, via Twitter:

     

    Image by Ryan J. Reilly via Flickr

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