Supreme Court hears LGBT worker cases
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 10/08/19, 10:20 am
Members of the public lined up outside the Supreme Court in Washington over the weekend for a chance to sit in on a landmark hearing about LGBT employee relations. The nation’s top court listened to oral arguments Tuesday morning in the case of a transgender funeral home employee who sued his Christian employers because they said his dressing as a woman at work would disturb bereaved families and violate their religious convictions about gender. In two other cases, the justices heard from the lawyers of people who claim they lost their jobs because of their sexual orientation.
What are the justices looking for? In Harris Funeral Homes vs. EEOC, the justices will have to decide whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which prohibits employment discrimination based on sex, covers gender identity. Lawyers arguing for the funeral home say redefining “sex” that way would burden religious liberty. The court will address the same question, but regarding sexual orientation instead of gender identity, in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The justices are expected to announce a decision before the court term ends in June 2020.
Dig deeper: From the WORLD archives, read Bonnie Pritchett’s analysis of the Harris Funeral Homes case.
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