Thoughts of the Week!

What should we discuss this week?  So much has been in the news that it’s difficult to focus, however, I will press forward with these thoughts.

This week the Trump under the guise of the Department of Justice reversed the Obama era ban on transgender discrimination when it issued a new memo on transgender workplace rights, arguing Title VII of the civil-rights law does not cover discrimination on the basis of gender identity.

According to The Atlantic, for nearly three decades, courts have been arguing over the definition of sex discrimination, which Title VII and other statutes prohibit. Particularly in recent years, some legal advocates and government agencies have argued that discrimination on the basis of sex includes bias against transgender people. Their claim is that discrimination against transgender people solely based on their gender identity is a form of sex stereotyping, which the Supreme Court has long ruled impermissible.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions wrote in his memo. “‘Sex’ is ordinarily defined to mean biologically male or female,” he wrote. “Although Title VII provides various protections to transgender individuals, Title VII does not prohibit discrimination based on gender identity per se.”

Sessions stated in his memo that the change is “a conclusion of law, not policy,” arguing that his is simply the straightforward interpretation of the statute.

“The Department of Justice cannot expand the law beyond what Congress has provided,” wrote Devin O’Malley, a DOJ spokesman, in an email. “Unfortunately, the last administration abandoned that fundamental principle, which necessitated today’s action.”

In 2014 the Obama Administration, through then Attorney General Eric Hold, released a memo stating that the Department of Justice would no longer argue that gender-identity-based workplace-discrimination claims weren’t covered by Title VII. “Although Congress may not have had such claims in mind when it enacted Title VII,” Holder wrote, “the Supreme Court has made clear that Title VII must be interpreted according to its plain text.” On his reading, the statute could rightfully include discrimination against someone simply because the person is transgender.

Fortunately, many cases concerning Title VII and the LGBTQ+ community are working their way through the federal court system barreling on all cylinders toward the Supreme Court.  In the meantime, we need to stand shoulder to shoulder with our transgender brothers and sisters while they come under assault by the current President and his hate-filled administration.

Now just a few words on the tragedy in Las Vegas on Sunday.  My heart breaks and goes out to all the victims, their families and our first responders.   While I am a supporter of the right to bear arms, I do believe that we need serious and sensible gun laws in the nation.  The accessibility of weapons that can cause such great carnage needs to be banned and confiscated.  There is zero justification to have such weapons, large capacity magazines and certain ammunitions.

I know my friends on the right are upset whenever I say this but not one of them have presented a logical argument for such weapons, or the need for a magazine that holds more than 5 bullets.

The most common response I hear . . . to protect the citizenry against a tyrannical government!

Do they really think that, even with the 300+ million guns that are in private hands, we have the power to overthrow the most powerful military in the world?  No, not even close.

The 2nd Amendment never envisioned the weapons of today, and that must be taken into account, otherwise, why not just allow private militias to have their own heavily armed Black Hawk helicopters, or F-15 jet fighters?  I mean, if we are really going to argue that we must arm the people to protect us from the government, then let’s do it right and give them all the equal armament that the military has.

If this seems implausible to you then let’s get sensible and ban, collect, and then confiscate these weapons of mass carnage.  There is no reason for them at all!

Click HERE to read this week’s issue of QUEERtimes Weekly

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