VIctory in Circut Court: Transgender Discrimination Is Sex-Based Discrimination

A ruling in the 11th circuit court in Georgia could eventually have a major impact on  transgender people across the country.  According to Think Progress, “Vandy Beth Glenn had been a legislative editor in the Georgia General Assembly, but her supervisor, now-retired legislative counsel Sewell Brumby, testified that he found the thought of her transition “unsettling,” “unnatural,” and something that others would view as “immoral.”

“An 11th Circuit panel ruled that her termination constituted sex discrimination and the decision could have a far-reaching impact on protecting the rights of transgender people”, reports the website.

In their ruling the judges wrote,”We conclude that a government agent violates the Equal Protection Clause’s prohibition of sex-based discrimination when he or she fires a transgender or transsexual employee because of his or her gender non-conformity.”

Windy City reports that,”Lambda Legal’s lawsuit, filed in July 2008, claimed that Glenn’s termination violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection guarantee because it treated her differently due to her nonconformity with sex stereotypes and her medical condition. In July 2010, the District Court ruled that Georgia General Assembly officials violated the Constitution and discriminated against Glenn by terminating her for failing to conform to sex stereotypes. Using a lower standard of review, the Court rejected the second Equal Protection claim that Glenn was discriminated against on the basis of her medical condition. The state appealed the case to the Eleventh Circuit. ”

The state could still appeal the decision to the full 11th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gov Tracker points out that,”It is worth noting that all three judges on the panel concurred, including Judge William H. Pryor. Pryor’s nomination to the bench was opposed by LGBT groups, who noted that he had filed an amicus brief supporting sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas. He also cast the deciding vote to oppose hearing a challenge to Florida’s law that banned gay people from adopting.”

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