A Statement from NCLR Legal Director Shannon Minter
(San Francisco, CA, July 1, 2009)—The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has declined to appeal a federal court ruling awarding transgender veteran Diane Schroer the maximum compensation for the discrimination she suffered by being refused a job with the Library of Congress because of her transgender status. Yesterday, June 30, was the deadline for the government to seek an appeal in Schroer v. Library of Congress, in which Ms. Schroer has been ably represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The Bush Administration had defended this case vigorously, arguing that transgender Americans are not protected by any existing federal laws, but the district court rejected that argument.
A statement from Shannon Minter, Legal Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:
The DOJ’s decision not to appeal this case is correct, and we applaud it. Discrimination against transgender people is sex discrimination, and the discrimination levied against Ms. Schroer by the Library of Congress was blatant and indefensible.
The DOJ’s decision not to appeal the verdict is consistent with the Obama administration’s campaign promises to protect transgender workers against discrimination and the administration’s recent order taking steps to bar gender identity discrimination in federal employment.
Ms. Schroer, an Army Special Forces veteran with 25 years service, has our deepest appreciation for honorably and steadfastly pursuing her rights for several years to this successful conclusion which marks a significant victory for transgender workers across the country.
A copy of the decision, the complaint, a video, a bio and photographs of Diane Schroer are available at: http://www.aclu.org/lgbt/transgender/24969res20050602.html.
The National Center for Lesbian Rights is a national legal organization committed to advancing the civil and human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and their families through litigation, public policy advocacy, and public education.