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Anti-Trans Workplace Discrimination Is OK in Texas, Judge Rules

Author: Trudy Ring

A federal judge in Texas has ruled that employers in the state can ignore portions of the Biden administration’s guidance on equal treatment of LGBTQ+ workers, particularly as it regards transgender ones.

U.S. District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who was appointed by Donald Trump, ruled this week that guidance on implementing the Bostock v. Clayton County ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court, which held that anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination is illegal, went too far. Employers may not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity, but the ban does not extend to “all correlated conduct,” he ruled.

They do not have to allow workers to use the restrooms corresponding to their gender identity or dress according to that identity, nor do they have to use employee’s preferred pronouns, he wrote.

The ruling came in a lawsuit brought by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a longtime opponent of LGBTQ+ equality and author of the opinion that parents should be investigated for child abuse if they let their children receive gender-affirming health care. Paxton filed the suit in September 2021, naming the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as defendant.

He amended the suit to also name the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a defendant after HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued guidance saying federally funded agencies can’t keep people from accessing medically necessary care, including gender-affirming care. Becerra’s guidance came in response to Paxton’s “child abuse” opinion, which had led Gov. Greg Abbott to order investigations of trans-supportive families. Kacsmaryk ruled that Texas doesn’t have to comply with the Becerra guidelines either.

Paxton released a statement praising the ruling. “The court decision’s is not only a win for the rule of law, but for the safety and protection of Texas children,” he said. “The Biden Administration’s attempts to radicalize federal law to track its woke political beliefs are beyond dangerous. I will continue to push back against these unlawful attempts to use federal agencies to normalize extremist positions that put millions of Texans at risk.”

Rochelle Garza, the Democrat challenging Republican Paxton in November’s election, issued a statement saying he’s the extremist, “Once again, criminally indicted Ken Paxton is focusing on political grandstanding and litigating extremist, harmful policies that hurt some of the most vulnerable in Texas,” she said, according to the San Antonio Express-News. “Paxton should be in trial answering for his crimes instead of putting trans Texans at risk. As attorney general, I will work to protect every Texan.”

Paxton was indicted on securities fraud charges in 2015, and the case has not been resolved. Garza’s race against Paxton is likely to be the closest statewide contest, the Express-News notes.

The Department of Justice, which represents the federal government in court, didn’t announce immediately if it would appeal Kacsmaryk’s ruling. It has appealed a similar ruling on the EEOC guidance in a lawsuit brought by 20 states led by Tennessee.

Kacsmaryk is on record as opposed to LGBTQ+ equality. He has endorsed the view that being transgender is a “delusion,” denounced marriage equality, and referred to the Equality Act as the “inequality act.”

Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

My name is David but my online nick almost everywhere is Altabear. I'm a web developer, graphic artist and outspoken human rights (and by extension, mens rights) advocate. Married to my gorgeous husband for 10 years, together for 24 and living with our partner of 1.5 years, in beautiful Edmonton, Canada.

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