ACLU Applauds First-Ever Congressional Hearing on Gender Identity in the Workplace

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Washington, DC - The American Civil Liberties Union today applauded the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Heath, Employment, Labor, and Pensions for holding the first-ever congressional hearing on transgender issues and gender identity discrimination in the workplace. Chaired by Representative Robert Andrews (D-NJ), the committee heard from retired Army Colonel and ACLU client Diane Schroer. The ACLU is currently representing Schroer in a Title VII sex discrimination lawsuit against the Library of Congress.

"We wish to thank Representative Andrews for holding this historic hearing, and giving Colonel Schroer the opportunity to tell her story before Congress," ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Christopher Anders.

"Colonel Schroer's testimony gets at core American values, those of equality and fair play. Regardless of our gender identity, we all deserve a fair shot at job opportunities and advancement.

"In America, it should be hard work, education, skills and experience which determine our success in the job market. Unfortunately, this was not the case for Colonel Schroer. We hope that her testimony today compels the committee and Congress to act to protect transgender individuals from discrimination in the workplace."

Colonel Schroer was an Airborne Ranger qualified special operations forces officer who received numerous decorations including the Defense Superior Service Medal, and was hand-picked to head up a classified national security operation. She began taking steps to transition from male to female shortly after retiring as a colonel after 25 years of distinguished service in the Army. When she interviewed for a job as a terrorism research analyst at the Library of Congress, she thought she'd found the perfect fit, given her background and 16,000-volume home library collection on military history, the art of war, international relations and political philosophy. Schroer accepted the position, but when she told her future supervisor that she was in the process of gender transition, the Library of Congress rescinded the job offer.

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For more information on Col. Diane Schroer and Schroer v. Library of Congress visit:

http://www.aclu.org/lgbt/transgender/24969res20050602.html