It all started with a lawsuit. Aimee Stephens (pictured below) is a trans woman who was fired by R.G and G.R Harris Funeral Homes after she had announced her transition in 2013. She filed a complaint against the Michigan company. She thinks her dismissal was sex discrimination and relies on Title VII that prohibits gender discrimination. Note that Michigan doesn't protect LGBT people from employment discrimination.
A first court ruled that the funeral home’s religious liberty rights superseded Stephens’. But earlier this year, another federal court reviewed the case and ruled in favor of Aimee.
Now, anti-LGBT politicians are attacking her and trans workers. A group of sixteen states asked the Supreme Court to overturn the court's decision. They argue the Congress doesn't intend the ban on sex discrimination to cover LGBT employees.
The group consists of:
- Nebraska Attorney General David Bydalek
- 13 Republican attorneys general (Texas, Alabama, Kansas, Utah, ...)
- Maine Governor Paul LePage
- Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin
- Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant
They think they were no trans people in the 60's. They argue that the term "sex" used in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act cannot refer to a transgender person because the Act was drafted in 1964. They say “sex” “referred to physiological distinctions between females and males, particularly with respect to their reproductive functions.”
“The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Bydalek wrote, according to Bloomberg Law.
It remains to be seen whether the Supreme Court will consider the case.