Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Medical | By Marta Holmes

Appeals Court Rules Sex Discrimination Includes Bias Against Transgender People

Appeals Court Rules Sex Discrimination Includes Bias Against Transgender People

A three-judge panel on the court found that R.G.

In a decision yesterday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit held that businesses can not discriminate against employees for identifying as transgender and that Harris Funeral Homes had discriminated against Stephens by firing her in 2013.

Moore's opinion referenced Anthony Stephens, the employee who complained about the funeral home's practice, as "her".

The owners of the funeral home, who did not immediately return a call for comment, argued in court that transitioning to another gender is against their beliefs.

"Discrimination on the basis of transgender or transitioning status is necessarily discrimination on the basis of sex", the court ruled.

"Religious freedom should never be used as a basis to discriminate against people and deny their basic human rights", Rachel Laser, the executive director of Americans United, said in a statement. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, which has locations in Detroit, Garden City, and Livonia. But, Stephens lost the initial court battle after her former employer cited religious beliefs as justification for her termination.

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Federal courts have split on the question of whether discrimination against gay workers amounts to sex discrimination, and the Supreme Court declined to take up the issue past year.

"Binding 6th Circuit precedent establishes that any person without regard to labels such as transgender can assert a sex-stereotyping gender discrimination claim under Title VII ... if that person's failure to conform to sex stereotypes was the driving force behind the termination", Judge Cox ruled. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission first filed the lawsuit on behalf of Stephens in 2014.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which represented Stephens, hailed the decision as an "important victory for transgender people and allied communities across the country". "In too many workplaces around the country, coming out as trans is a fireable offense, as our client Aimee Stephens personally experienced".

Nor does compliance with Title VII amount to an endorsement of Stephens' views, the appeals court said. "The court's decision rights a grievous wrong and protects our core values of religious freedom, fairness and equality".

"Aimee Stephens had worked diligently for this funeral home for six years".

But the EEOC's complaint also asserts Ms. Stephens was sacked because she did not conform to "sex- or-gender-based preferences, expectations or stereotypes", said the District Court ruling.

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Moore's reputation was noted by Ballotpedia, which explained she protected the immunity of a judge who viciously removed a lawyer with whom he had a conflict, causing him to lose his job. "Her employer is entitled to his personal religious beliefs but has no right to fire her for living in accordance with her identity".

The Alliance Defending Freedom, which represented Mr. Rost, said the court's ruling plowed over his religious rights.

"Today's decision misreads court precedents that have long protected businesses which properly differentiate between men and women in their dress and grooming policies", McCaleb said.

"Court opinions should interpret legal terms according to their plain meaning when Congress passed the law", he said. In a written statement, he said the Sixth Circuit opinion "re-writes federal law and is directly contrary to decisions from other federal appellate courts".

This is the first time, according to Reuters, that the court has considered a religious defense in a case on unlawful sex bias. "We are consulting with our client to consider their options for appeal".

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