Sex and how its meaning changed
Before the US civil rights act passed in 1964 It have been written to protect Americans from discrimination on the basis of race, religion, color or national origin. The bill was controversial, no all the politicians wanted to see it go through one of those people was a representative from Virginia name Howard W. Smith, who proposed an amendment, to insert the word sex he's not that into the title seven of the bill which protects people from discrimination at work. The bill is so unpopular that it wouldn't get enough votes to pass. But it didn't work. Congress passes the most sweeping civil rights bill ever to be written into the law. Because the civil Rights act says nothing about sexual orientation or gender identity. For the past 50 years the US has been debating for the legal definition of sex and whether it protect LGBTQ Americans from discrimination too. The answer depends on who you ask and hangs on the outcome of the 2020 election. What sex discrimination in the context of the civil rights act 1964 was that, woman who were becoming up the larger part of the work first couldn't be discriminated. But over the years, a wave of activism and a string of legal battles helped interpret the civil Rights act to include protections for LGBTQ Americans. It's been a way for us to team protection through litigation that we have not been able to obtain explicitly through congressional action.
A pivotal case would be the price Waterhouse versus Hopkins the Supreme Court ruled on yet in 1989 it helped expand the definition of sex discrimination and it involved a woman named Ann Hopkins who accounting firm and who by all accounts was highly successful. I was competing against 87 male applicants for promotion to partner. And someone from the hiring committee told her how she might get the job one of it was the dress more femininely, get her hair styled, wear jewelry, and there were other folks who weather in around the world that she was not macho? She was rejected for partnership twice, so Hopkins shooter company using the sex discrimination clause in the civil rights act and she won which expanded the kind of discrimination that title seven can protect against based on something called sex stereotyping. The court ruled that "an employer acts on the basis of the belief that a woman cannot be aggressive, or that she must not be, has acted on the basis of gender,” in 2000 for another court ruling expanded on this logic to even further to explicitly protect a trans person. Smith's decisions involve a firefighter in Salem, Ohio, who came out and had a pretty stellar record. She began her gender transition meaning that she was born a male and she was transitioning to live in accordance with her female gender identity. Miss Smith sued her employer for sex crimination when she found that she would be fired, and she won, based on the argument that discrimination against someone who doesn't identify with his or her gender is no different from the discrimination directed against Ann Hopkins. Who in sex stereotypical terms did not act like a woman. That was a significant victory, especially at the time. I think it's important to remember the courage of someone to take that step in the early 80s in a fire fighting outfit. These cases have helped protect countless numbers of the LGBTQ community who have had to fight these legal battles in the absence of a federal law that grants
them protection. There's no substitute for those explicit protections. You know I live in California and you know there's just no ambiguity about the fact that trans people are protected under the law in those States and that's the way it should be federally. Oregon and California are two of the 27 states that have their own nondiscrimination laws based on gender or sexual orientation. One state only has sexual orientation protection. 22 states don't offer any protection at all. That ambiguity makes the position of the white House on the issue really important. Starting in 2014, the Obama administration sign executive orders to reflect have sex discrimination was being interpreted in the courts. And those rules impacted all these federal agencies. For example the department of justice wrote that the best reading of title VII prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity including including transgender status. Individuals shall be allowed to serve in the military. And the department of education issued a letter that says Schools that receive federal funding should allow students to use the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity. But in 2017 when President Trump took office, his administration reverse all those rules explicitly saying that discrimination does not encompass gender identity meaning "sex is limited biological sex determined at birth and that contradicts how the courts have evolved over the past 50 years. If you're going to decide to take steps like that without complying with the rule of law, that's really dangerous for our democracy/ Then in 2020 came another supreme Court case that made the court's interpretation ever clearer. A major interpretation is even clearer. A major civil rights decision came out of the United States Supreme Court. The Biggest opinion for Gay rights in this country since 2015 When of course same sex marriage was legalized. The case involved a juvenile court employee in Clay county, Georgia, a state that doesn't offer LGBTQ discrimination protections. The decision made the courts’ logic on the LGBTQ protections explicit: sex discrimination includes discrimination for sexual orientation, too. The legal fight for LGBTQ people to be protected from sex discrimination took half a century in the courts 2020 election. It does send a message, you know, to the people in the community that they aren't protected and invites people to discriminate and just creates a hostile environment for our communities. If eliminating the dangerous laws of the LGBTQ that specifies targeting them. It would flat out change and acknowledge what the courts have decided that the “Definition of discrimination based on sex should include in the LGBTQ Community instead of leaving it to the people to fight for their rights.