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On August 16, the Human Rights Campaign denounced the Trump administration for giving a “green light” to discriminate against transgender workers by interpreting federal law such that “sex” means biological sex instead of gender identity. The Obama administration had done the opposite, and was reversed after Donald Trump became president.
HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow said of pending litigation against this return to pre-Obama legal understandings, “There can be no justification for such a narrow interpretation of the term ‘sex.’ Our community will not be silent, and we will not be erased.” The issue revolves around Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The administration has argued, “Title VII prohibits treating an individual less favorably than similarly situated individuals of the opposite sex,” but does not specifically separate gender identity from biological sex.
October - Supreme - Court - Cases - Law
This coming October, the Supreme Court is set to review three cases that could determine how future federal law handles discrimination protections for LGBT workers. HRC’s comments regard a case in which a male employee was fired as the employee moved from wearing male clothing to wearing female clothing at work.
The case, EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes, is complicated. It involves policies based on biological sex as well as concerns over religious freedom.
Harris - Funeral - Homes - Person - Name
From 2003 until 2013, Harris Funeral Homes employed a person who now prefers the name Aimee Stephens. Beginning as an apprentice, Stephens worked up to becoming funeral director and embalmer before choosing to identify as the opposite sex. According to the complaint, several weeks after Stephens informed Harris that Stephens would appear at work in female clothing, the employer chose to terminate Stephens’ contract.
The owners were concerned that Stephens would now be sharing the home’s single-sex bathroom with female employees and clients. Additionally, as Stephens would now be dressing in female clothing while still possessing...
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