Attorney General Eric Holder said sex discrimination listed in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 should be interpreted to include transgender.
“I have determined that the best reading of Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination is that it encompasses discrimination based on gender identity, including transgender status,” Holder wrote in his letter.
He said the most straightforward reading of discrimination “because of sex” includes whether a person is a member of a particular sex or is transitioning or has transitioned to another sex.
“For these reasons, the Department will no longer assert that Title VII’s prohibition against discrimination based on sex does not encompass gender identity per se,” Holder wrote.
He wrote that he was not encouraging any course of litigation, but that gender identity is part of sex discrimination.