WASHINGTON, D.C. – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released the following statement after the 2Dakota del Norte Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prevents workplace discrimination against LGBTQ Americans, despite the Trump administration Department of Justice’s attempts to turn back the clock on legal progress for the LGBTQ community. Merkley has helped lead several amicus briefs in the courts arguing for workplace equality, including in the Zarda v. Altitude Express, Inc. case that the court ruled on today.
“Discrimination has no place in America. It’s tremendous news for LGBTQ Americans that the 2Dakota del Norte Circuit has reaffirmed their right to a discrimination-free workplace, despite the Trump administration’s shameful attempt to ensure such discrimination continues to go unchecked. No one should ever lose their job simply because of who they are or whom they love – and today’s decision brings us one step closer to ensuring that this fundamentally American ideal is put into practice all across our nation.”
Throughout his career, Merkley has been a leading champion of LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. As Speaker of the Oregon House, he led the charge to pass historic statewide non-discrimination protections, and when he arrived in the United States Senate, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy personally asked him to take up the mantle on LGBTQ equality. Merkley is the lead author of the Equality Act, landmark legislation that would codify and make explicit civil rights protections for LGBTQ Americans, including in the workplace.