KNOXVILLE, TN — (07-18-22) — Judge Charles E. Atchley Jr. of Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee temporarily blocked enforcing protections to LGBTQ individuals, siding with 20 state attorneys general who sued the Biden administration over guidelines on the rights for LGBTQ workers and students.

Judge, Charles E. Atchley Jr’s ruling comes one year after a group of 20 anti-LGBTQ conservative state attorneys general’s filed a lawsuit against two federal agencies for their interpretation of the 1972 landmark civil rights statute known as Title IX, which prohibited sex-based discrimination in educational programs and activities that receive federal funding, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited employers from discriminating against workers based on race, religion or sex.

Last year,  the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, following guidance from President Biden, announced the protections afforded under Title IX and Title VII to be extended to LGBTQ individuals and would be enforced in workplaces and in schools.

The agencies said that companies and schools could not deny a transgender person access to a bathroom that corresponded to that individual’s gender identity. They also said that “LGBTQ students should be allowed to participate on a sports team consistent with their gender identity, and that federally funded schools have a responsibility to investigate sex discrimination, including sexual harassment, against students because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.”

That’s when the GOP’s anti-LGBTQ war machine that included Herbert H. Slatery III, the attorney general of Tennessee who filed the lawsuit and who was joined by 19 other states contended that the government infringed on states’ powers to regulate their public workplaces and schools.

The attorneys general further stated that the Biden administration violated federal law because it did not follow proper processes in implementing those mandates.

The Biden administration argued that the regulations were consistent with the 2020 Supreme Court ruling that said Title VII prevented employers from firing someone for being gay or transgender. They further said that the lawsuit should be dismissed in part because it had not begun enforcing the guidelines.

Judge, Charles E. Atchley Jr., an appointee of former President Donald J. Trump, sided with the plaintiffs and denied the request to dismiss the suit, issuing a preliminary injunction against the enforcement of the directives until courts could decide the matter. He also said that further decisions could be made by his court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court, which every one knows is conservative packed.

Article by: Paul Goldberg, Staff Writer

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