On gender rights

It was a “blink and you missed it” sort of moment in the second week in December, since a good chunk of America was still wrapped up in wrapping up holiday gifts and plans, but the U.S. Department of Justice took a huge step toward justice for all.

Attorney General Eric Holder, on behalf of the Obama administration, announced that it would begin taking discrimination cases on behalf of transgender citizens, recognizing that Title VII applies to people who are discriminated against because of their gender identity. Previously, Title VII had been deemed to apply only to circumstances in which people experienced discrimination based on the gender assigned them at birth.

It’s a big welcome to the 21st century. The rights of transgender people to live, work and engage in the community without fear of harassment, violence and discrimination is without a doubt the next step forward in human rights in the United States. With this decision, the Justice Department has made it clear that no American may be discriminated against in employment on the basis of their gender. This can only be a very good thing for all of us.