Chris, I’ll Say It Again: You’re Wrong

xmas gift crain

With a vote coming soon on the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, I’d like to revisit something Chris Crain said a while back in his post “A trans activist tees off on ENDA” that was in reference to my post “You Can Still Fire Me“. At his blog he said:

The EEOC says exactly what I said: “existing federal civil rights laws have already been interpreted by SOME JUDGES to protect trans workers.”
Is it every judge? No. Would adding “gender identity” to ENDA ensure protection? Absolutely. But my point was that, under current case law, at least SOME judges interpret Title VII to protect transgender people.

But what do the courts say? On September 20, 2007 the United States Court of Appeals – Tenth Circuit ruled on Etsitty v. Utah Transit Authority. They said:

“Etsitty may not claim protection under Title VII based upon her transsexuality per se. Rather, Etsitty’s claim must rest entirely on the Price Waterhouse theory of protection as a man who fails to conform to sex stereotypes. “

Chris argues that:

“But my point was that, under current case law, at least SOME judges interpret Title VII to protect transgender people.”

But the court clearly states this is not so:

“Although this court has not previously considered whether transsexuals are protected class under Title VII, other circuits to specifically address the issue ave consistently held they are not. See Ulane v. E. Airlines, Inc., 742 F.2d 1081, 084 (7th Cir. 1984); Sommers v. Budget Mktg., Inc., 667 F.2d 748, 749-50 (8th ir. 1982); Holloway v. Arthur Andersen & Co., 566 F.2d 659, 662-63 (9th Cir. 977). In Ulane, the Seventh Circuit explained that the definition of sex should be given its ‘common and traditional interpretation’ for purposes of interpreting Title VII. 742 F.2d at 1086. Based on this traditional definition, the court held the statute’s prohibition on sex discrimination means only that it is ‘unlawful to discriminate against women because they are women and men because they are men.’ Id. at 1085. Because the plaintiff in Ulane could show only that she was discriminated against as a transsexual, rather than as a woman or a man, the court concluded Title VII could provide no protection.”

If this was simply Chris Crain’s feeling alone, I’d let it go. I don’t expect him to admit he’s wrong. But it’s important to point this out because other people share his views about excluding transgender people in ENDA.

8 Comments

  1. Kathy September 22, 2007
  2. Kathy September 22, 2007
  3. Chris Holden September 23, 2007
  4. Chris Holden September 23, 2007
  5. Jill September 24, 2007
  6. Jill September 23, 2007
  7. Marti Abernathey September 24, 2007
img_5800e5bd88d8a
Johns Hopkins Resumes Trans Care
DL-art
The New York Magazine lies to parents about trans children
92
The media is lying about why NC is being sued
91
What the US Attorney General actually said about trans people & fighting NC in court
transphobia5
The Politics of Transphobia
img_579a295a28d15
Is Sadism Popular With TERFs? A Chat With An Ex-Gendercrit
chai
EEOC Commissioner: “Contrary state or local laws provide no defense to an employer that violates Title VII”
85
Study: Trans kid’s gender implicit; govt report condemns conversion therapy
95c
The Gill Foundation & NCTE choose money over trans lives
KrellTitle
In Memory of Terri Williams Moore (1941–1976)
87
[Updated] Predatory publishers and their dupes
84
The NY Times goes concern trolling
95c
The Gill Foundation & NCTE choose money over trans lives
transphobia5
The Politics of Transphobia
86
Fight back: Report Mississippi & North Carolina HATE here!
CitizensForResponsiblePolicy_CreepyGuy
The 2008 Gainesville Bathroom Bill TV Spot Revisited