Rep. Raskin's Subcommittee Requests Trump Administration Reverse LGBTQ+ Discrimination Policies in Light of Bostock v. Clayton County

August 19, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, sent letters to the Department of LaborDepartment of EducationDepartment of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development requesting that they reevaluate their policies and rulemakings that allow for discrimination against LGBTQ+ people in light of the Supreme Court’s decision in Bostock v. Clayton County.

“These policies and rulemakings significantly undercut the civil rights and liberties of LGBTQ+ people.  In Bostock, the Supreme Court ruled that prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity,” Chairman Raskin wrote to the agencies.  “The Department, therefore, should immediately reverse its systematic refusal to enforce LGBTQ+ rights.”  

Since the beginning of the Trump Administration, all four agencies have taken steps to undermine protections for LGBTQ+ people in the United States.  For example: 

  • The Department of Labor proposed a “Faith-Based Initiative” rule to exempt religious organizations receiving federal funds from requirements to provide a notice of nondiscrimination and referrals to secular organizations.
  • The Department of Education rescinded a “Dear Colleague” guidance letter clarifying that Title IX prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, routinely failed to address complaints of LGBTQ+ discrimination, and refused to even investigate allegations that transgender students have been illegally barred from using bathrooms and locker rooms consistent with their gender identity.
  • The Department of Health and Human Services stopped enforcing requirements that prohibit federally funded grantees from discriminating against LGBTQ+ people and, shortly before the Supreme Court decided Bostock, issued a final rule to strip Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act of its nondiscrimination protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced it would modify the Equal Access Rule, which bars discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, to “allow homeless shelters to refuse to house transgender people consistent with their gender identity.” 

In Bostock, the Supreme Court ruled that prohibitions on discrimination on the basis of sex include discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.  Anti-discrimination projections on those bases have been consistently undermined by the Trump Administration.

The Court’s clear affirmation of LGBTQ+ rights should prompt an examination of the Administration’s unprecedented expansion of religious liberty exemptions to non-discrimination requirements.

For these reasons, the Subcommittee requested that the Departments provide written plans by September 2, 2020, that identify these discriminatory policies and the steps that the Departments will take to reevaluate and alter them.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Department of Labor.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Department of Education.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Click here to read today’s letter to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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