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New Mexico AG: Transgender people deserve equal protections

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SANTA FE (AP) — New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas says gender identity discrimination threatens millions of people living and working in the United States and that they deserve every protection under the law.

Balderas, a Democrat, made the comment in a letter sent Tuesday to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a memo issued last week that said federal civil rights law does not protect transgender people from discrimination at work.

Sessions called the interpretation a "conclusion of law, not policy," and said the move should not be construed to condone mistreatment of transgender people.

Balderas argued that interpreting the Civil Rights Act to the harmful exclusion of Americans who deserve equal protection is a policy decision that contradicts the spirit of a law that was created to prevent discrimination.