A Georgia trans woman was fired from her job as a legislative aide after she went public about her gender transition. Now, a court has ruled she should get her job back.
According to the AP, Vandy Beth Glenn worked for one Sewell Brumby at Georgia's Office of Legislative Counsel. But Brumby fired her in 2007 after she began living openly as a woman. Brumby described Glenn as "a man dressed as a woman and made up as a woman," and explained that he fired her because "it's unsettling to think of someone dressed in women's clothing with male sexual organs inside that clothing." He might have dealt with this by not picturing Glenn's sexual organs, a courtesy he presumably extended to his other employees — but apparently he thought his bigotry was acceptable because trans people aren't a protected category under Georgia discrimination law. He was wrong.
A three-judge panel ruled unanimously that Glenn had suffered sex discrimination. They wrote,
All persons, whether transgender or not, are protected from discrimination on the basis of gender stereotype. An individual cannot be punished because of his or her perceived gender non-conformity. Because these protections are afforded to everyone, they cannot be denied to a transgender individual.
This is a pretty important ruling, as it implies that discrimination laws don't have to specifically mention trans people in order to protect them. Of course, it should be obvious that trans people's gender identity deserves as much respect as anyone else's. But to people like Brumby, it's clearly not — and now they have a stern legal reminder.
US Appeals Court Rules In Favor Of Transgender Woman Fired As Georgia Legislative Aide [AP, via The Republic]
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