Judge Rules Transgender Discrimination Violates Civil Rights Act

A federal judge ruled Friday that Diane Schroer, a transgender woman, was discriminated against when she was not hired as a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress’ Congressional Research Service. According to the Washington Post, Schroer, a former U.S Army colonel, was offered the job in December 2004 only to have the offer rescinded when she told her employer she was in the process of transitioning.

According to the Associated Press, U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled that the Library of Congress violated the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits sex discrimination. Robertson wrote in his decision (see PDF) that Schroer was clearly qualified for the job and had received the highest interview score out of 18 applicants for the position.

The lawsuit was filed in 2005 by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of Schroer. Following the decision, Schroer said, “It is especially gratifying that the court has ruled that discriminating against someone for transitioning is illegal. I knew all along that the 25 years of experience I gained defending our country didn’t disappear when I transitioned, so it was hard to understand why I was being turned down for a job doing what I do best,” according to the Post.


Associated Press 9/20/2008, Washington Post 9/20/2008, Schroer v. Billington 9/19/2008

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