Supreme Court to consider LGBT employment cases
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 4/22/19, 01:04 pm
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear the case of a funeral home employee who sued because he said the Christian business owners would not let him dress as a woman at work. At the same time, the high court also will consider cases filed by individuals who claimed they were fired because of their sexual orientation.
The three cases, scheduled for oral arguments in the fall, revolve around Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The law does not mention sexual orientation or gender identity, but federal appeals courts in Chicago, New York, and Cincinnati have recently ruled in favor of homosexual or transgender employees who claimed employment discrimination. In R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home v. EEO, Anthony Stephens claimed Title VII protection as a transgender employee of the Detroit-based funeral home. Business owner Thomas Rost said he could not in good conscience permit Stephens to present himself as a woman to grieving clients. And his convictions about God-designed manhood and womanhood prevented him from paying a clothing stipend to help facilitate Stephens’ transition.
This will be the first time the Supreme Court has considered LGBT discrimination cases since the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who authored the 2015 same-sex marriage decision Obergefell v. Hodges, and the appointment of his replacement, Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who established a conservative majority on the court.
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