The U.S. Supreme Court announced Monday it will hear three cases involving religious liberty versus LGBT rights.
At issue is whether “sex” discrimination protections in the 1964 Civil Rights Act include sexual orientation and gender identity, even though the Act doesn’t specifically mention those categories.
In an order released Monday morning, the Supreme Court agreed to hear R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a case in which a Christian-owned funeral home was sued for firing a transgender individual who refused to adhere to a dress code for his biological sex.
“The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted limited to the following question: Whether Title VII prohibits discrimination against transgender people based on (1) their status as transgender or (2) sex stereotyping under Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U. S. 228 (1989),” stated the high court.
Expected to be argued in the fall, Harris v. EEOC is one of three cases the Supreme Court will be taking up that examines the extent to which federal law prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, according to Politico.
The other two cases, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, were consolidated. Both of those cases also have to do with whether the 1964 Civil Rights Act covers sexual orientation discrimination.
In September 2014, the EEOC filed a lawsuit against Harris Funeral Homes over the firing of Aimee Stephens, formerly known as Anthony Stephens.
The case was one of the first legal actions the EEOC took on behalf of transgender individuals alleging sex discrimination against an employer.
Harris Funeral Homes is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom. In a 2016 interview with The Christian Post, ADF attorney Doug Wardlow said the case was the Obama administration pushing “a political agenda.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski