The U.S. Department of Justice will hold its annual LGBT Pride Month Program on June 28, and employees appear to be using the event to make a strong rebuke of their boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Sessions rescinded an Obama-era guidance instructing public schools to allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.
Had the Trump administration not taken that step, transgender student Gavin Grimm would have had his case against his school heard by the Supreme Court. Instead, it was sent back down to the appeals court.
The event includes the presentation of awards, and those chosen to be recipients this year by DOJ Pride, the department’s group for LGBTQ employees and allies, is telling.
As BuzzFeed reports, DOJ Pride plans to present Grimm with its Gerald B. Roemer Community Service Award, as well as the James R. Douglass Award, recognizing contributions to the work-life environment for LGBTQ employees, to the teams behind the department’s pro-transgender lawsuits. Those suits include a discrimination case brought against Southeastern Oklahoma State University, and the challenge to North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ law House Bill 2.
In addition to rescinding the directive on trans students, the Trump administration has quietly worked to weaken civil rights protections across the federal government, including but not limited to areas of public education.
By doing away with consent decrees, an important tool in ensuring continued oversight, it is now more difficult for possible civil rights violations to be discovered and rectified.
Grimm, who is expected to attend the DOJ Pride event, has graduated, but his legal fight continues.
“Years after my battle for equality started, one thing remains the same: I’m still barred from using the boys’ restroom in my school,” Grimm wrote on Medium, reflecting on his experiences as a trans student who simply wanted to be treated fairly by his school.
“Our opponents can’t stop justice; they can only delay it,” he continued in the post, titled “Graduating with dignity, but without justice.”
Grimm maintains a positive outlook, and said that despite graduating before the case could be resolved, he is confident it will have a happy outcome.
“I know we’re going to win this fight,” he wrote.
He added that “across the country, there’s hope for trans students like me.”