The Justice Department says Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Law which prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or country of origin, does not extend to gender identity, according to Monday reports.
In an amicus brief filed August 16th with the Supreme Court, the Department reiterated that “the question is not whether employees have the right to discriminate against people who are transgender. It is whether Title VII, as written, bars such discrimination.” The Justice Department believes it is up to Congress, and not the Court to decide whether the words “gender identity” should be added to the protections provided by Civil Rights Act.
In 2016, an explicitly Christian-based Funeral Home in metropolitan Detroit was sued by a former long term employee who began identifying as female. The employee, who was a funeral director and embalmer, asked the owners of the funeral home if he/she could begin wearing a skirt. The Christian owner was uncomfortable providing the female clothing based on his religious views and the individual was fired. He/she then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and with the help of ALCU, sued the funeral home.
The initial ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Sean Cox sided with the funeral home. It was overturned by the U.S. Sixth Court of Appeals in 2017. The funeral home then appealed to the Supreme Court who agreed to hear the case this past April, prompting the Justice Department to inform the Court of its opinion through the amicus brief.
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