New York Times calls Georgia’s new anti-discrimination law discriminatory
NEW YORK — The New York City Department of Human Rights has launched a formal complaint against the state of Georgia over the state’s new law that requires carpet cleaning companies to hire and promote transgender employees.
The complaint filed Wednesday against Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp on behalf of several business owners alleges the law violates their constitutional right to equal protection under the law.
In its complaint, the Department of Public Health and Welfare says the new law “will impose burdens on businesses that operate in Georgia because it is not gender neutral and excludes people with transgender employees and other transgender people from being treated with equal dignity and respect.”
Nathan Deal signed the bill into law on April 17, following a series of court challenges that the state has argued were based on an unconstitutional and discriminatory policy that prohibits transgender people and others from serving in the military.
Deal has defended the law, saying it is needed to protect Georgia residents from the “unacceptable threats to public safety and public health posed by transgendered individuals.”
Deal and the state also contend that the new policy violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
Georgia Secretary Of State Brian F. Kemp (D) on Tuesday said he was working with state Attorney General Brian Kemp (R) to review the complaint and that the Department’s complaint is unrelated to the new legislation.
Deal and Kemp both say they have received complaints of discrimination from residents of the state.
Deal said in a statement that he has received no formal complaints about the new rule.
He also said he is committed to working with the Georgia General Assembly to pass legislation to repeal this law.