Transgender fight could prove major test for Supreme Court

“The case pending before the Supreme Court centers on Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman who alleges she was fired from her job as a funeral director and embalmer after she told her employer she would begin living and working openly as a woman.”

(Lydia Wheeler – The Hill)  The fight over civil rights protections for transgender people could prove to be a major test for the Supreme Court, particularly its conservative wing, as justices weigh whether to take up the issue this term.

The court has a request before it to hear a case challenging whether civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in employment extend to transgender workers.

It’s a dispute that may have a significant impact on the Trump administration’s reported plans to exclude federal protections for transgender people by narrowly defining gender.

The New York Times reported last week that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is leading an effort to write a rule that defines gender as a biological, immutable condition determined by genitalia at birth, a move that would affect civil rights laws banning gender discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding.

While the pending case before the justices deals with civil rights in the workplace, experts say a Supreme Court ruling could very well affect the administration’s planned gender rule.

“If the Supreme Court took it and held what the majority of courts are holding — that sex discrimination includes transgender people — the administration would be hard pressed to go ahead with that rule,” said Diana Flynn, litigation director at Lambda Legal, a group that advocates for LGBT rights. View article →


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