Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Michigan transgender woman at heart of Supreme Court case on LGBTQ rights

Posted By on Tue, Oct 8, 2019 at 12:37 PM

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday is hearing three landmark cases, including one from Garden City, that seek to answer the question: Is it legal to fire someone for being gay or transgender?

One of the three landmark cases involves Aimee Stephens, who was fired in 2013 from a Garden City funeral home after she informed her employer that she was transitioning from a man to a woman. Stephens alleges in a lawsuit that her termination from R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which she says prohibits employers from discriminating against gay or transgender workers.

The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Stephens. The other two cases before the Supreme Court involve a gay man from New York and a gay man from Georgia, both of whom were fired because of their sexual orientation.

President Donald Trump’s administration is urging the court to rule that federal anti-discrimination laws do no protect LGBTQ+ workers.

The cases will be watched closely, not only because of the impact of the ruling, but because it’s the first time the court has confronted LGBTQ+ issues since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who supported gay rights. He was replaced by the more conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

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