Historic E.E.O.C. Ruling a Huge Victory for Trans People

04/25/2012 11:06 AM |

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Yay! The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that discriminating against an individual based on gender identity violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Thank you, Mia Macy:

In her complaint, Mia Macy, 39, said she had been promised a job in a bureau crime laboratory in Walnut Creek, Calif., in early 2011. At the time, Ms. Macy, a military veteran and a former police detective, was living as a man.

Later that year, she told officials at the bureau that she was intending to legally live as a woman, and shortly after was told that the position was no longer available, she said.

Ms. Macy filed a complaint in June with the bureau, which responded that a gender-identity claim was covered by Justice Department procedures rather than E.E.O.C. jurisdiction, as sex discrimination is. In a decision reached on Friday and made public Tuesday, however, she found a sympathetic audience in the commission. It said that “intentional discrimination against a transgender individual because that person is transgender” is illegal under Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination.

Before this, trans people had no official employment discrimination protection under the law. This is a HUGE DEAL, because for many people, transitioning is expensive, often not covered by health insurance (if the person can afford health insurance), and workplace discrimination against trans people is a giant problem.

In not really related but important reading, I wanted to point everybody to this piece by Monica at Transgriot about why voting matters. I feel like I hear so much about how President Obama isn’t moving fast enough on LGBTQ issues, or how he’s caving to the GOP, or how he’s not REALLY a liberal, and how left-leaning people are considering not voting for him in this election. Which, if you think HE’S too far right, I don’t get how you think Republicans are any better. But anyway, go read, because Monica makes some extremely important points that I’m not hearing from people who should be understanding them.

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