TAP Timeline: DOJ’s war on LGBTQ

Timeline of Department Of Justice’s anti-LGBTQ activities

What: The Department of Justice (DOJ) sets the national tone for the interpretation and application of federal law. During the Trump Administration, this tone has been decidedly anti-LGBTQ where they have time and again used so-called "religious exemptions" as an excuse to discriminate against LGBTQ Americans. Here's how:


— January 2017 : Anti-LGBTQ Jeff Sessions chosen as Attorney General. Sessions has a long history of opposing LGBTQ rights history of opposing LGBTQ rights.

— February 2017: DOJ, working in tandem with Department of Education, withdraws federal protections for transgender students.

— April 2017: DOJ withdraws lawsuit the Obama Administration had filed against the state of North Carolina over its discriminatory anti-trans law. 

— June 2017: DOJ ejects openly gay reporter from LGBTQ media outlet from agency's Pride event.

July 2017: In amicus brief, DOJ declares that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment "discrimination based on sexual orientation."

— July 2017: Sessions delivers closed-door remarks to anti-LGBTQ Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).

— September 2017: DOJ files amicus brief supporting discriminatory baker Jack Phillips at the United States Supreme Court.

— October 2017: DOJ issues memo declaring Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect transgender people.  

— October 2017: DOJ issues “religious exemptions” guidance which broadly supporters a religious employer’s supposed “right” to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  

— October 2017: AG Sessions sits down with LGBTQ hostile media outlet Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) to support the right of religious bakers to discriminate against LGBTQ customers.

— April 2018: Despite objections from LGBTQ advocacy organizations, DOJ announces that it will stop asking 16 and 17-year-olds for voluntary disclosure of sexual orientation and gender identity on the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS).

— June 2018: DOJ employee Diana Flynn resigns from agency after thirty-four years of service, specifically citing Trump amdinistration’s anti-LGBTQ agenda as reason for leaving.

— June 2018: After eleven years, DOJ moves annual pride celebration from prestigious Great Hall to a small seventh floor conference room. 

— July 2018: DOJ announces so-called “religious liberty task force,” designed to further its support for anti-LGBTQ businesses and organizations which wish to discriminate against LGBTQ people.  

— August 2018: Sessions denies that ADF, an organization that has consistently opposed every LGBTQ right under discussion and that long promoted so-called “conversion therapy,” is indeed a hate group. 

— October 2018: In a brief, DOJ tells U.S. Supreme Court that employers can discriminate against transgender workers.

— October 2018: Attorney General Sessions delivers speech to anti-LGBTQ Heritage Foundation.

— November 2018: After the resignation of Jeff Sessions, Anti-LGBTQ Matthew Whitaker chosen as acting Attorney General. Whitaker has built a legal career opposing LGBTQ rights.

— December 2018: Anti-LGBTQ WIlliam P. Barr nominated by President Trump to be next Attorney General. Barr has a long record of opposing LGBTQ rights.

— December 2018: DOJ stands with a Christian group at the University of Iowa in their efforts to discriminate against LGBTQ students. 

The GLAAD Accountability Project catalogs anti-LGBTQ rhetoric and discriminatory actions of politicians, commentators, organization heads, religious leaders, and legal figures, who have used their platforms, influence and power to spread misinformation and harm LGBTQ people.