Lambda Legal has filed papers before the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit defending a lower court’s ruling that the Georgia General Assembly discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as a state legislative editor in 2007 after informing her superiors of her intention to transition from male to female.
In July of last year, the district court ruled that General Assembly officials discriminated against Glenn based on her sex. The General Assembly's legislative counsel, Sewell Brumby, fired Glenn because he thought her transition "was inappropriate, that it would be disruptive, that some people would view it as a moral issue, and that it would make Glenn's coworkers uncomfortable."
Brumby also stated during court depositions that the thought of someone with male sexual organs in women’s clothing was “unsettling” to him, was “something I don’t like to think about,” and was something he viewed as “unnatural.” Brumby freely admitted he thought Georgia legislators would think Glenn’s presence at the Capitol would be “immoral.”
“We’re looking forward to making our case at the Eleventh Circuit,” said Greg Nevins, supervising senior staff attorney in Lambda Legal’s Southern Regional Office in Atlanta. “It is clear Vandy Beth Glenn was fired because her boss didn’t like her as she is. That is unfair and illegal. The law is on our side here, but transgender employees are still vulnerable to sex discrimination from their employers who don’t understand it. A clear statement from Congress — made by passing the Employment Nondiscrimination Act — would protect LGBT employees and provide helpful, clear guidance to employers. Because nobody wants the right to sue as much as they want to be free of work-place discrimination in the first place.”
“I am resolved to see this case to the end. No one should be fired for no good reason like I was,” added Glenn.