DOJ Intervenes In Upstate New York Gay Rights Civil Suit
For the first time in a decade, the U.S. Department of Justice has intervened in an upstate New York gay rights civil lawsuit filed on behalf of an openly gay 14 year old student named Jacob against Mohawk Central School District.
In August, an openly gay 14-year-old student named Jacob — with the help of the ACLU — sued the Mohawk Central School District in upstate New York because officials “did not appropriately respond to relentless harassment, physical abuse and threats of violence” that Jacob received because of his sexual orientation.
The Justice Department is citing Title IX of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 — which protects people against gender discrimination — in its Motion to Intervene. However, the Obama administration is relying on a “broad reading” of Title IX, arguing that “the law also covers discrimination based on gender stereotypes.” In the Motion, the Justice Department argues that the Mohawk District officials also violated the Equal Protection Clause. On Jan. 7, the Assistant Attorney General authorized the federal government’s invention “by certifying that this is a case of general public importance.” Conservative lawyers are arguing against the Obama administration’s approach, saying that it is “making up a legal violation where there hasn’t been one.”
Under Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, the Justice Department has had a dramatically different focus than it did during President Bush’s terms. While the Bush Justice Department was focused on installing political cronies, going after mythical voter fraud cases, and the suppression of minority voters while looking out for the voter disenfranchisement of whites. The Obama Justice Department, by contrast, recently announced that it would also start aggressively going after “banks and mortgage brokers suspected of discriminating against minority applicants in lending.”
Read Jacob's story, here.
Special thanks to NowPublic author: nanute for passing this story along.
Recommended reading: The Standards and Truths of Equality
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North Tonawanda, New York, United States