Ted Eytan via Flickr

A Texas judge ruled that the Biden Administration’s workplace protections for LGBTQ+ people – specifically trans and non-binary employees – were “unlawful.”

Back in March 2021, President Joe Biden issued an executive order that called for the protection of LGBTQ+ individuals within the workplace and education environments.

The inclusive move was initiated to fall in line with the Supreme Court’s 2020 ruling in the Bostock v. Clayton County case – which prohibited employers from discriminating based on sexual orientation and gender identity under the established Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

Biden’s executive order also noted that denying LGBTQ+ employees the right to use pronouns, bathrooms and dress codes that align with their gender identity was considered discrimination within the workplace.

While the new directives were a welcomed change amongst LGBTQ+ activists and allies, the order triggered retaliation from an array of conservative lawmakers.

In response to the guidance, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the US Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for trying to introduce “a radical attempt at social change.”

On 1 October, Texas judge Matthew Kacsmaryk ruled in favour of Paxton, stating that Title VII does not protect against “correlated conduct” like pronouns and bathrooms. 

“The Guidances and Defendants misread Bostock by melding ‘status’ and ‘conduct’ into one catchall protected class covering all conduct correlating to ‘sexual orientation’ and ‘gender,'” the Trump-appointed judge wrote.

In response to the hateful ruling, Paxton praised the decision as “a win for the rule of law” and “safety and protection of Texas children.”

“The Biden Administration’s attempts to radicalise federal law to track its woke political beliefs are beyond dangerous,” he said in a statement. 

Paxton and Kacsmaryk are no strangers to voicing their archaic and misguided anti-LGBTQ+ viewpoints. 

Earlier this year, the attorney general released an opinion denouncing gender-affirming care – which he described as “child abuse”.

Before being nominated for the bench, Kacsmaryk worked as the deputy general for the conservative anti-LGBTQ+ legal council First Liberty Institute. He also openly opposed same-sex marriage, described being transgender as “delusional,” and called the Equality Act the “inequality act” (per The Advocate).