Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued sweeping guidance instructing federal agencies to provide significant leeway to staff and government contractors and grantees seeking exemptions from federal laws, rules, and regulations. This license-to-discriminate guidance comes just one day after the Department of Justice announced they would no longer protect transgender Americans from workplace discrimination under Title VII. Daniel Ramos, Executive Director of One Colorado, released the following statement in response to the guidance.
“These unprecedented attacks by Attorney General Sessions are aimed at systematically eroding the basic dignity and legal equality of LGBTQ Americans, which makes this Administration the most anti-LGBTQ in recent decades. Thankfully, Colorado has already decided that discrimination has no place in our state – and we won’t let anyone, including Attorney General Sessions, roll back the clock on the progress we have made.”
“Freedom of religion is one of our most fundamental values as Americans, which is why it’s already protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution. But freedom of religion does not give people the right to impose their beliefs on others, to harm others, or to discriminate. In America, we believe that the government should treat everyone equally under the law. When the government supports employees, contractors, and grantees that deny services to taxpayers based on their religious beliefs, it is breaking its promise to treat all citizens equally.
“This deliberate attempt to undermine the legal equality and dignity of LGBTQ people illustrates the urgent need for a comprehensive non-discrimination law that protects people based on sexual orientation and gender identity at the federal level. We encourage Colorado’s Representatives and Senators to immediately work to ensure that all LGBTQ Americans have the same protections from discrimination that we have here in Colorado.”