Civil Rights Uniformity Act

H.R. 2796

Federal Protections for Transgender People

In 2012, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) determined in Macy v. Holder that discrimination based on an individual's gender identity is sex discrimination and thus constitutes a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Under the Obama Administration, numerous federal agencies issued guidance or rules interpreting the sex discrimination provisions of other federal civil rights laws—including Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Fair Housing Act—to include discrimination based on gender identity. These guidance and rules reflect a clear trend in federal courts, which have consistently held in recent years that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is prohibited under existing civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex.

What is the Civil Rights Uniformity Act?

The Civil Rights Uniformity Act would prohibit the words “sex” and “gender” in federal civil rights laws from being interpreted to include gender identity and would require the words “man” and “woman” in federal civil rights law to refer exclusively to a person’s “genetic sex”. In addition, it would prohibit federal civil rights laws from being interpreted to treat gender identity or transgender status as protected characteristics unless the law explicitly listed them as such.

If signed into law, the Civil Rights Uniformity Act would undermine existing federal protections for transgender people and would leave many transgender Americans vulnerable to discrimination without legal recourse.

What is the Current Status of the Bill?

The Civil Rights Uniformity Act was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX) on June 7, 2017.

 

For more information, please contact legislation@hrc.org. Read about other Federal Legislation pertinent to the LGBTQ community here.

Last Updated: October 4, 2017