Supreme Court hears arguments on firing of transgender employee

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals found that transgender funeral director Aimee Stephens’ firing was an illegal case of sex discrimination. | ACLU.ORG

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court heard arguments for a Michigan case that could decide the future of transgender discrimination. Aimee Stephens of Metro Detroit was fired from a Garden City funeral home in 2013 because she informed her bosses that she was transitioning from male to female.

Attorneys for Stephens argued that the termination violated the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on employment discrimination based on sex. The outcome of this lawsuit shall decide whether the civil rights law is effective in shielding transgenders from workplace discrimination or only upholds the traditional meaning of gender bias.

The Trump administration on Tuesday urged the Supreme Court to rule that members of the LGBTQ community could be fired because of their gender identity or sexual orientation.

The argument led by the administration stated that Civil Rights Act’s “protections apply fully to transgender individuals” in terms of sex discrimination. However, “treating a transgender person less favorably than a non-transgender person” should not be made part of the protections.

In this instance, there was no “evidence that the funeral home treated some or all biologically male employees less favorably than similarly situated biologically female employees.”


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