Big case on a little word

Monday, August 19, 2019
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

Supreme Court sunriseADF hopes the U.S. Supreme Court agrees with their brief that says redefining the word "sex" to include gender identity is problematic and not the job of judges or government agencies to decide.

OneNewsNow reported earlier this year that the nation's highest court had agreed to hear arguments in R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) brief says Congress is the one responsible for adding or redefining terms in federal law in the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act case.

ADF is representing Thomas Rost, the owner of several funeral homes in Michigan who is accused of violating an employee's rights by not allowing the male funeral director to be dressed as a woman while at work. Rost says the funeral homes have a sex-specific dress code for employees. Still, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled the federal government can force Rost and the funeral homes to allow the funeral director to dress and present as a woman.

"The court ruled against the funeral home, even though what the employee proposed to do violated the family business's sex-specific dress code, which the employee agreed to when hired and abided by for nearly six years," says a press release from ADF. "The court's decision redefined 'sex' in Title VII to conflict with the word's well-understood meaning since the law's enactment in 1964. Title VII is a federal law intended to ensure equal opportunities in employment, regardless of a person's race, color, religion, national origin, or sex."

Anderson

"We just filed our brief asking the Supreme Court to affirm federal non-discrimination law as it is written -- that 'sex' in that law means biological sex, not gender identity," says ADF attorney Kate Anderson. "We're asking that because making a change to read 'gender identity' into this law would cause legal chaos and significant problems, particularly for women. But that's exactly what the ACLU is asking the court to do."

Arguments are scheduled to be heard October 8th.

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