‘You can’t un-ring a bell’

GA Voice - - Nationalnews -

fed­eral work­force, which Pres­i­dent Obama ex­panded to in­clude trans­gen­der peo­ple.

LGBT work­ers at the Com­merce De­part­ment may also find resti­tu­tion for claims of dis­crim­i­na­tion un­der Ti­tle VII of the Civil Rights of 1964. The law con­tains no ex­plicit pro­hi­bi­tion on anti-LGBT dis­crim­i­na­tion, but the U.S. Equal Em­ploy­ment Op­por­tu­nity Com­mis­sion and a grow­ing num­ber of courts have de­ter­mined the pro­hi­bi­tion on sex dis­crim­i­na­tion un­der the law ap­plies to LGBT peo­ple.

House Mi­nor­ity Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Mary­land) de­cried the Com­merce De­part­ment omis­sion as “ap­palling” in a state­ment and was among those who called on Ross to re­in­state sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity in the policy.

“While LGBT em­ploy­ees of the De­part­ment re­main pro­tected un­der the gov­ern­ment-wide policy in­sti­tuted by for­mer Pres­i­dent Obama, this de­ci­sion by Sec. Ross sends a sig­nal that LGBT Amer­i­cans are not wel­come at the de­part­ment he leads,” Hoyer said. “In ad­di­tion to the in­jus­tice of his move, the Sec­re­tary ought to re­flect on the role of the LGBT com­mu­nity in our econ­omy and the im­por­tance of LGBT busi­ness­peo­ple in cre­at­ing jobs and ex­pand­ing trade to ben­e­fit our coun­try and its work­ers.”

Joel Kas­netz, a spokesper­son for the Demo­cratic Na­tional Com­mit­tee, also crit­i­cized the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion for the LGBT omis­sion and said the restora­tion of the language is an in­suf­fi­cient rem­edy.

“You can’t un-ring a bell,” Kas­netz said. “By try­ing to erase LGBTQ peo­ple from the Com­merce De­part­ment’s nondis­crim­i­na­tion policy, the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion sent a crys­tal clear mes­sage to LGBTQ Amer­i­cans: ‘You’re not wel­come here.’”

The Com­merce De­part­ment didn’t re­spond to a fol­low-up in­quiry on why sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion and gen­der iden­tity were ex­cluded from the policy in the first place.

A White House of­fi­cial de­ferred to the Com­merce De­part­ment state­ment in re­sponse to in­quiries on whether Pres­i­dent Trump was OK with the omis­sion and whether it was the re­sult of an ad­min­is­tra­tion-wide di­rec­tive. In Jan­uary, the White House said Trump would leave in place Obama’s ex­ec­u­tive or­der bar­ring anti-LGBT work­place dis­crim­i­na­tion among fed­eral con­trac­tors.

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