WASHINGTON, D.C.: In the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. this week, a transgender woman, Diane Schroer, is bringing suit against the Library of Congress. Schroer alleges that the Congressional Research Service, which is an arm of the Library of Congress, discriminated against her based on her sex. This, she claims, violates her rights under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, and national origin.
Sharon McGowan, Associate Lawyer of the ACLU and Schroer's counsel, states that Schroer is legally a woman because she identifies herself as such; Schroer's gender identity is that she is female. Schroer, pushes McGowan, should be recognized as female and have the same protections as any other woman, regardless of the fact that she is transgender.
The Congressional Research Service rescinded a job offer after Schroer disclosed that she would be transitioning from David to Diane. Schroer is suing to get the job she was promised: a senior terrorism research analyst.
She applied for the job as David, and says she was offered the position. She was introduced to what her boss called her "colleagues". The following day, they met for lunch, and Schroer mentioned that she had a personal issue to discuss: that she was transgender. Says Schroer, shaking her head: "Actually, the initial reaction was, 'Why in the world would you want to do that?'
The following day, her future boss called, and said, "After a long and sleepless night, based on our conversation yesterday, I've decided that you're not a good fit. You're not what we want." Schroer, evidently, was not right for the job.
"I'd been told a lot of things in my life. I'd never been told, 'You're not what we want. You're not a good fit," sighs Schroer. "As you can imagine, it certainly wasn't the highpoint of my week," she adds.
Yet Schroer says she was clearly the best candidate. As one of the foremost experts on national security, then Colonel Schroer dealt with the office of the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the White House. He accrued over 25 years in the U.S. Army as a Special Forces Commander and even debriefed Vice President Cheney after the 9/11 attacks.
"So, it surprised me. It very much disappointed me," says Schroer. "There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hope that someone from the Library of Congress would call and say, "We've made a huge mistake, and we would very much like for you to start work tomorrow morning."