Sessions ends transgender workplace protections

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions says federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work.

That's a reversal of an Obama-era directive that interpreted the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as prohibiting workplace discrimination against transgender employees. In a memo to the nation's federal prosecutors, Sessions says the law bars discrimination between men and women but does not extend to gender identity.

Sessions says "this is a conclusion of law, not policy." And he says the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people.

LGBT-rights advocates immediately assailed the reversal as the latest in a series of Trump administration actions targeting their constituency.

A Justice Department spokesman says the Obama administration was wrong to interpret the law beyond what Congress intended.

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