‘Whiplash’ Of LGBTQ Protections And Rights, From Obama To Trump

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03/02/2020

At the heart of a story now playing out in schools, workplaces and courts across the U.S. is a disagreement over the legal meaning of the word “sex” — and whether discrimination against gay and transgender people for being gay or transgender is sex discrimination. The White House has a particular kind of power over this question. It has the power to interpret whether LGBTQ people are protected by sex discrimination protections in laws passed by Congress, to issue rules and policies that reflect that interpretation, and — through those actions — the power to send a message to the country. In the last several years, two White House administrations have used this power in diametrically opposite ways. LGBTQ activists and their allies say it feels like civil rights “whiplash.”

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