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Tennessee fights regulations meant to protect LGBTQ workers


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Tennessee officials are fighting to keep transgender, anti-discrimination regulations from being enforced.

Tennessee and 15 other states are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a lower court ruling that would apply those regulations to businesses and schools.

The case involves a Michigan company that fired a transgender employee for violating the dress code. The appeals court ruled the company’s decision was based on sex, a violation of the Civil Rights Act.

State Attorney General Herbert Slattery took issue with the decision, saying the federal court “essentially rewrote federal law.”   

Marisa Richmond represents the mid-state transgender community on the Metro Human Relations Commission. She says the courts and federal agencies have consistently sided with transgender workers on this issue.


“Equal Employment Opportunities Commission ruled unanimously that Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is inclusive of transgender people. So this particular Michigan case simply reaffirms the EEOC ruling.”


But the Tennessee AG contends that “Unless and until Congress affirmatively acts to change Title VII, it is up to the States, not the federal judiciary, to determine which protections, or not, should flow to individuals based on gender identity.”


Chris Sanders with the Tennessee Equality Project says the state’s action comes as no surprise.


“People are feeling attacked by their own state government yet again. It’s always a challenge to find affirming employers and it’s why legal protection are so important.”


Would you like to review the Tennessee AG’s full brief, or the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeal decision?