FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. — The Trump administration and the Department of Justice are "going out of their way to divide Americans and legalize discrimination in our country," Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement Thursday.
Malloy is criticizing an amicus brief filed in federal court by the Trump administration’s Department of Justice on Wednesday in a case involving employee discrimination.
"The administration has needlessly intervened in a case currently being heard in the Second Circuit, arguing that employers should be allowed to fire, deny promotion to, and generally discriminate against their employees just for being gay," Malloy said.
"The brief is particularly unusual because the DOJ was never asked to weigh in on this particular case, which was filed by a worker who said he was being discriminated against by his employer based solely on his sexual orientation, and went out of its way to intervene against the workplace rights of LGBT Americans."
The Trump administration’s action in the case came on the same day that President Donald Trump announced his intention to ban people who are transgender from serving in the military in any capacity.
“The Trump administration and Attorney General Sessions are now blatantly going out of their way to divide Americans and legalize discrimination in our country,” Malloy said.
“We are stepping into an era where a presidential administration is clearly trying to separate people and the civil rights that they are allowed to have based on who they are, and that is shameful," the governor said.
"The last century of American history has been noted for numerous steps forward in righting the wrongs that had separated our country for too long, and it is appalling that those in authority are now actively seeking to move the clock on equality and justice backwards. Those in leadership positions throughout our nation should be doing everything they can to unite our country and protect the civil rights of all people, not actively seeking to divide hardworking, patriotic Americans.”
Malloy noted that Connecticut law prohibits employment discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and marital status.
The court case is Zarda v. Altitude Express.
On Wednesday, Malloy was quick to act after Trump's announcement to ban transgendered people from the military.
Malloy signed an executive order reinforcing the state’s nondiscrimination policies within the Connecticut Military Department.
The order directs the Connecticut National Guard, the Connecticut Air National Guard, and the other armed forces of the state "to take no action that discriminates against service members in enlistment, promotion, or any other aspect of their service, on the basis of gender identity or expression."
"Any able person who wishes to serve should have that right — regardless of race, sexual orientation or gender identity or expression," Malloy said.
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