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Republicans Want to Remove LGBTQ Protections From New Trade Deal

By:  Don Overton  •  Trump & Republicans  •  3 weeks ago  •  28 comments

Republicans Want to Remove LGBTQ Protections From New Trade Deal

These conservative Republicans in the House are demanding that President Trump drop the language which protects workers from “discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity.”

First there was the historic provision in the new North American trade agreement providing protection for the LGBTQ community. Included in the proposed agreement is a requirement that the U.S., Canada and Mexico take steps to protect workers against discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual orientation and gender identity.

Then after the LGBTQ provisions were made public, came the inevitable protests from congressional Republicans.  Nearly 40 GOP lawmakers are unhappy about the protections for LGBT workers in the trade proposal.

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Dean Moriarty
1  Dean Moriarty    3 weeks ago

Sounds like a bunch of unnecessary government red tape. Let's hope the Republicans can clean up that mess. 

 
 
Trout Giggles
1.1  Trout Giggles  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1    3 weeks ago

What have you got against equal rights for all people? Don't LGBTQ people have a right to not be fired just because of who they are? It's no different than firing someone because of their race or religion

 
 
Dean Moriarty
1.1.1  Dean Moriarty  replied to  Trout Giggles @1.1    3 weeks ago

No I do not believe this crap belongs in a trade agreement. It should have as little red tape as possible to truly facilitate free trade. 

 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
1.1.2  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  Dean Moriarty @1.1.1    3 weeks ago

The entire trade agreement is red tape. Have you read it?

 
 
Ronin2
2  Ronin2    3 weeks ago

WTF is this type of thing doing in the agreement in the first place? The US already has laws in place to protect LGBT workers. It is up to other countries to form their own laws.

The agreement should only pertain to tariffs (the less the better), material border crossings, and custom requirements.  It should be an even playing field among all of the countries involved.

 
 
Dismayed Patriot
2.1  Dismayed Patriot  replied to  Ronin2 @2    3 weeks ago
The US already has laws in place to protect LGBT workers.

Really? You might want to let the 26 States where it's still legal to fire someone if you find out they're gay know that.

 
 
Ronin2
2.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  Dismayed Patriot @2.1    2 weeks ago

Never heard that Federal law takes precedence over state law?

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/federal-civil-rights-law-protects-gay-works-u-s-appeals-n851231

A U.S. appeals court in Manhattan on Monday ruled that a federal law banning sex bias in the workplace also prohibits discrimination against gay employees, becoming only the second court to do so.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overruled prior decisions and said that a worker’s sex is necessarily a factor in discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The ruling went againsta court brief filed by the Trump administration in 2017that said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not intended to provide protections to gay workers.

The 2nd Circuit revived a lawsuit by the estate of Donald Zarda, a former skydiving instructor who said he was fired after he told a customer he was gay and she complained. Zarda’s estate was backed in the appeal by dozens of large companies, including Alphabet Inc’s Google, Microsoft Corp, CBS Corp and Viacom Inc.

Zarda’s former employer, Altitude Express Inc, and companies that have faced similar lawsuits have argued that when Congress adopted Title VII more than 50 years ago, it did not consider whether the law’s ban on sex bias included discrimination based on sexual orientation.

But lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender groups and the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have increasingly argued that sexual orientation is a function of a person’s gender.

The 2nd Circuit agreed on Monday in its 10-3 decision.

Last April, the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit became the first court to find that Title VII bans gay bias in the workplace.

The U.S. Supreme Court in December declined to take up a different case out of Georgia that posed the same question.

https://nypost.com/2018/02/26/court-gay-people-are-protected-under-workplace-discrimination-law/

Took of all of 3 seconds to find this.  With a backup article that states the exact same thing. States have a lot of laws on the books that go against federal law. Those laws never hold up in court.

 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.1.2  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.1    2 weeks ago

I’ve had several jobs where I had to acknowledge with my signature that I can be let go on a moment’s notice at any time for any reason, and in return I can quit on a moment’s notice at any time without financial repercussions.  Though I’ve never personally experienced it, I see this as legalized discrimination.

 
 
Ronin2
2.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  Hal A. Lujah @2.1.2    one week ago

Right to Work is legalized discrimination? Wow.

If you don't like it don't take the job. It is as simple as that.  

and in return I can quit on a moment’s notice at any time without financial repercussions.

I really wish I had this in my current job.

 
 
Hal A. Lujah
2.1.4  Hal A. Lujah  replied to  Ronin2 @2.1.3    one week ago

Uhhh ... how would you know if you don’t like the job unless you took it and found out?

 
 
Freefaller
3  Freefaller    3 weeks ago

Can't speak for Mexico, but knowing Canada I cannot see them rushing to remove these provisions

 
 
epistte
3.1  epistte  replied to  Freefaller @3    3 weeks ago
Can't speak for Mexico, but knowing Canada I cannot see them rushing to remove these provisions

Canada will never agree on this change.

 
 
badfish hαηd ⊕ƒ †hε Ωuεεη
4  badfish hαηd ⊕ƒ †hε Ωuεεη    3 weeks ago

LGBT provisions in a trade deal? Why is that necessary? Provisions should represent all classes of citizens equally. 

 
 
epistte
4.1  epistte  replied to  badfish hαηd ⊕ƒ †hε Ωuεεη @4    3 weeks ago
LGBT provisions in a trade deal? Why is that necessary? Provisions should represent all classes of citizens equally. 

That is why these protections exist because as of now LGBT people can be fired for being LGBT, unlike heterosexuals/CIS.

 
 
Ronin2
4.1.1  Ronin2  replied to  epistte @4.1    2 weeks ago

They can?  See post 2.1.1

 
 
epistte
4.1.2  epistte  replied to  Ronin2 @4.1.1    2 weeks ago
They can?  See post 2.1.1

That is only for federal employees and contractors. It doesn't apply at the state level.

 
 
 
Ronin2
4.1.3  Ronin2  replied to  epistte @4.1.2    one week ago
That is only for federal employees and contractors. It doesn't apply at the state level.

Want to test that? I will trust the ABA.

https://www.americanbar.org/publications/human_rights_magazine_home/human_rights_vol31_2004/summer2004/irr_hr_summer04_protectlgbt/

DeSantis v. Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Co., 608 F.2d 327 (9th Cir. 1979) is the leading case early case concerning the rights of lesbian and gay people under Title VII. The appeal in DeSantis consisted of three consolidated cases, all involving gay or lesbian plaintiffs who were seeking employment discrimination protection under Title VII. The plaintiffs presented two primary arguments as to why they were entitled to protection under Title VII. First, they argued that Title VII should be interpreted to cover discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and, second, that Title VII should be interpreted to encompass discrimination directed at a male employee because he is perceived to be “effeminate.” The court rejected both arguments, concluding that Congress intended to cover only “traditional notions of sex,” which did not, in the court’s view, include either discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or “discrimination because of effeminacy.” Id. at 332.

Courts followed a similar line of thinking in holding that transsexual people were excluded from protection under Title VII. For example, in Ulane v. Eastern Airlines, Inc., 742 F.2d 1081 (7th Cir. 1984), the Seventh Circuit rejected a Title VII claim brought by a transsexual employee who had been employed as a commercial airline pilot. After the employee transitioned from male to female, she was fired. The district court ruled in favor of the plaintiff. The district court held that, although Title VII did not prohibit discrimination on the basis of “sexual preference,” and therefore did not provide protection for lesbian and gay employees, it did provide protection for people such as the plaintiff because while “the term ‘sex’ does not comprehend ‘sexual preference,’ . . . it does comprehend ‘sexual identity.’” Id. at 1084. The Seventh Circuit reversed this decision, holding that Congress intended only to “prohibit discrimination against women because they are women and men because they are men.” Id. at 1085.

Two U.S. Supreme Court decisions have undermined the reasoning of both lines of cases and, as a result, recent cases have held that LGBT people may be entitled to protection under Title VII in some circumstances. In Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989), the Supreme Court held that Title VII was not limited to discrimination on the basis of one’s biological status as a man or a woman but instead prohibits the “entire spectrum” of discrimination on the basis of sex, including discrimination on the basis of gender stereotypes. In Price Waterhouse, plaintiff Ann Hopkins was denied a partnership at an accounting firm because she was deemed to be insufficiently “feminine.” Id. at 234–35. To improve her chances for partnership, Hopkins was told she should “walk more femininely, talk more femininely, dress more femininely, wear make-up, have her hair styled, and wear jewelry.” Id. at 235. The employer argued that Title VII did not prohibit discrimination based on gender stereotypes. The Supreme Court disagreed. “As for the legal relevance of sex stereotyping, we are beyond the day when an employer could evaluate employees by assuming or insisting that they matched the stereotype associated with their group, for ‘in forbidding employers to discriminate against individuals because of their sex, Congress intended to strike at the entire spectrum of disparate treatment of men and women resulting from sex stereotypes.’” Id. at 251 (internal citations omitted). Nine years later, in Oncale v. Sundowner, 523 U.S. 75 (1998), the Supreme Court removed another barrier when it held that a plaintiff could state a Title VII claim where sexual harassment was perpetrated by a person of the same sex.

Based on these Supreme Court decisions, courts across the country have held that LGBT people may be entitled to protection under Title VII. For example, in Heller v. Columbia Edgewater Country Club, 195 F. Supp. 2d 1212 (D. Or. 2002), the district court denied summary judgment for an employer in a Title VII suit brought by a lesbian employee. The plaintiff presented evidence that throughout her employment, her female supervisor made disparaging and harassing comments based on gender stereotypes, including: “Oh, I thought you were a man”, “Do you wear the dick in the relationship?” and, “I thought you wore the pants.” In ruling in favor of the employee, the court relied upon a recent Ninth Circuit case— Nicholas v. Azteca Restaurant Enterprises, Inc., 256 F.3d 864 (9th Cir. 2001)—abrogating its earlier decision in DeSantis and holding that a male employee is entitled to redress under Title VII if he can prove that he was discriminated against for failing to comport with stereotypical notions of how men should appear and behave. Similarly, a concurring opinion in the en banc decision Rene v. MGM Grand Hotel, Inc., 305 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir. 2002), revived a Title VII claim brought by a gay male plaintiff who had presented evidence that his former coworkers taunted him by calling him feminine names and endearments, and ridiculed him for walking in a feminine manner.

With respect to transgender people, courts have similarly held that if a transgender person is targeted for failing to conform to stereotypes about how men and women are expected to appear and behave, they may be protected under Title VII. In Schwenk v. Hartford, 204 F.3d 1187 (9th Cir. 2000), the plaintiff was a transgender prisoner who sued under the Gender Motivated Violence Act after being assaulted by a guard. Relying on the old case law on this issue, including Ulane, the guard argued that sex discrimination laws do not protect transgender people. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument, holding that the “initial judicial approach taken in cases such as Holloway [and Ulane] has been overruled by the logic and language of Price Waterhouse.” Id. at 1201. The court concluded that “[d]iscrimination because one fails to act in the way expected of a man or a woman is forbidden under Title VII,” and that a transgender person who is targeted on this basis is entitled to protection.

Forty years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, there is still no explicit federal protection for LGBT employees. In at least some circumstances, however, courts are increasingly finding that LGBT employees are entitled to protection under Title VII.

 
 
JBB
5  JBB    3 weeks ago

It remains legal to discriminate against LGTBQ persons in both housing and employment in 26 states. Maybe other countries do not want to trade with any entities that discriminate. Seems fair to me. Protections for LGTB workers are necessary because discrimination remains prevalent both here and elsewhere. 

 
 
Tacos!
5.1  Tacos!  replied to  JBB @5    2 weeks ago
It remains legal to discriminate against LGTBQ persons in both housing and employment in 26 states.

How do you foresee that impacting international trade?

Maybe other countries do not want to trade with any entities that discriminate.

That may ultimately be the case, but is it the case, now? Is it the case with this particular trade deal?

Protections for LGTB workers are necessary because discrimination remains prevalent both here and elsewhere.

That's fine, but do we need to force Mexico to make changes in that direction? Are we willing to stop trading with them (or anyone else) over it?

 
 
devangelical
6  devangelical    3 weeks ago

[Removed]

 
 
Greg Jones
6.1  Greg Jones  replied to  devangelical @6    3 weeks ago

removed for context

 
 
Greg Jones
7  Greg Jones    3 weeks ago

There is no organized or institutional discrimination against LGBTQ's. Any claims to the contrary are fictitious.

 
 
JBB
7.1  JBB  replied to  Greg Jones @7    3 weeks ago

You should do some research before spreading such misinformation...

It remains legal to discriminate against LGTBQ persons in both housing and employment in 26 states. That is institutional discrimination. What you said is untrue. Check it out for yourself if you don't believe me. 

 
 
epistte
7.2  epistte  replied to  Greg Jones @7    3 weeks ago
There is no organized or institutional discrimination against LGBTQ's. Any claims to the contrary are fictitious.

In my state it is legal to discriminate against LGBTQ people. They can get married and then be fired or evicted for doing so. 

COLUMBUS, Ohio

Ohio's civil rights code bans discrimination based on race, color, sex, disability, age, religion or national origin.

Those protections do not apply to the LGBT community. State lawmakers are considering a bill to change that.

Many states, including Ohio, do not protect LGBT people from discrimination in housing, employment, or public accommodations.

 
 
Phoenyx13
7.3  Phoenyx13  replied to  Greg Jones @7    2 weeks ago
There is no organized or institutional discrimination against LGBTQ's. Any claims to the contrary are fictitious.

gee... with that informed opinion and links to back up your assertion - i'm totally convinced /s (yes, sarcastic

 
 
Don Overton
7.4  author  Don Overton  replied to  Greg Jones @7    2 weeks ago

And you know that How Greg.  From tea leaves, or did it just pop into you head

 
 
Paula Bartholomew
7.5  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  Greg Jones @7    one week ago

Did you miss Trump trying to get TG's removed from the military?

 
 
Tacos!
8  Tacos!    2 weeks ago

Part of what makes trade "free" is requiring everyone involved to operate under the same rules. So, in that spirit, I want unions in all the named countries to have the same rights; I want wages and benefits to be equivalent; I want safety rules and environmental concerns adhered to equally.

However, while I support protections for LGBT, and I would like to see other countries respect such people, I am curious what the economic impact would be on requiring it of our trading partners. I also don't know what the current situation is for LGBT in Canada and Mexico. Since the language apparently came as a Canadian suggestion, I'm guessing things are pretty good in Canada. Is Mexico the problem?

Perhaps more to the point, is this really a problem that 1) actually exists, and 2) needs to be addressed in a trade agreement? 

Trans and LGBTQ advocacy organizations are denouncing the proposed DHHS change, saying it would result in more discrimination against trans and nonbinary individuals.

Ok. I'm wondering where and in what capacity.

All of this is matters (I think) because to the extent that we allow social policy to be part of trade agreements, it should be limited to economic issues, or we could end up bartering social policy in ways we don't want. It might not be wise to set a precedent we don't need to set that could come back to bite us in future negotiations.