The order builds on last year’s historic Supreme Court ruling finding that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides workplace protections to gay and transgender Americans based on its prohibition of “sex” discrimination. But the order extends those protections to the areas of housing and education, signaling that federal agencies stand ready to enforce the anti-discrimination protections in all areas of life for LGBTQ Americans.
The Trump administration had taken every anti-LGBTQ stance known to man, including arguing at the Supreme Court that Title VII doesn’t protect queer Americans from discrimination. That was a total departure from a series of federal court rulings over the last decade that found exactly the opposite. As the HuffPost writes:
The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Justice Department’s civil rights division had recently issued a memo stating that the Bostock ruling, as it’s known, should not be applied to education and housing. The memo also argued that employers may still be allowed to discriminate against LGBTQ workers by citing religious beliefs.
In other abrupt departures with the previous administration, the White House announced plans “in the coming days and weeks” to reverse Trump’s policy of blocking transgender Americans from serving openly in the military.
The Obama administration had ended the ban on transgender military service, a policy that Trump reversed course on early in his tenure. Biden’s reversion back to the Obama policy has been temporarily held up by the fact that his choice of secretary of defense, Lloyd Austin, still hasn’t been confirmed due to Mitch McConnell’s obstruction of Senate proceedings.