The United States Supreme Court
This case is the first time the Supreme Court has specifically heard arguments about the rights of transgender people.

When Aimee Stephens told her employer she was going to begin gender transition, she couldn’t have imagined that within a few years she’d be at the center of a landmark transgender civil rights case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Aimee Stephens, born Anthony, worked as a licensed funeral home director and embalmer at Harris Funeral Homes in Michigan for six years. Per the dress code, he came to work every day in a dark suit. But in late July of 2013, Stephens met with owner Thomas Rost, a devout Christian, and handed him a letter that revealed a lifelong struggle with gender identity, and a plan to transition to a female. “As distressing as this is sure to be to my friends and some of my family, I need to do this for myself and for my own peace of mind,” the letter read.

Anthony Stephens, the letter revealed, was actually Aimee Stephens.

Stephens informed Rost she would report back to work wearing the same conservative skirt suit or dress required for women by the dress code. But when they met again two weeks later, Rost handed her a termination notice.

The two sides have since been embroiled in a lengthy legal battle that has now made its way to the nation’s highest court. At the center of the argument: the workplace discrimination law Title VII. Does a law meant to prevent discrimination based on a person’s sex also apply to their sexual orientation and gender identity? That’s what the court must decide.

The stakes are high for both sides, as this is the first such case involving LGBT rights the court will hear since gay-rights champion and perpetual swing vote Justice Anthony Kennedy retired.

Supreme Court’s First Brush with Transgender Rights

After her employer let her go, Stephens alerted the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. They agreed to sue the company on her behalf given its own decision to include discrimination against LGBT people in its pursuit of civil rights. A trial judge ruled against her, but a federal appeals court in Cincinnati sustained the complaint. When the funeral home appealed, two of the three courts agreed that sexual identity falls under civil rights law, dismissing Rost’s argument that allowing Stephens to dress in women’s clothing would be an inappropriate distraction for grieving families.

Stephens lawyer, David Cole of the American Civil Liberties Union, argued that gender identity does indeed match Title VII’s definition of ‘sex’. As Cole said, “she was fired because she had a male sex assigned at birth.” Ultimately, he told the court, “we are not asking you to redefine sex… interpreting a statute is not depriving the democratic process.”

A Means to an End?

Rost’s lawyer, John Bursch, has described him as a caring man who’s “gone out and gotten groceries for widows who were incapable of doing it.” Bursch claims his client’s decision to fire Stephens (whom he still refuses to refer to by any female pronouns) was entirely legal. Far from violating the Constitution, he argues, this lawsuit is about extending federal civil rights that never existed. “To say this is somehow rolling back respect for people is just a false premise.”

“‘Sex’ and ‘gender identity’ are not the same thing,” Rost insists. “Businesses have the right to rely on what the law is at the time that they make business decisions. Employers like me shouldn’t risk incurring punitive damages for following existing laws.”

Rost also believes that the EEOC is attempting to use him as a means to an end. Their ultimate goal, he maintains, is to skirt around a Congress hesitant to pass any transgender-related legislation and effect legal change directly through the courts – similar to how same-sex marriage was legalized.

Protesters at US Supreme Court

Discrimination Legal in Half of U.S. States

Despite the Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, more than half of U.S. states do not currently prohibit employment discrimination because of gender identity or sexual orientation.

Why is this still a thing? Well, it seems to come down to the fact that two constitutional principles are in conflict with one another. Freedom of religion dictates that the government cannot force religious people to violate the tenets of their faith. But the Civil Rights Act outlaws discrimination against individuals based on their race or sex. LGBT activists insist that these protections should also extend to sexual orientation and gender identity — a change which faith groups strongly oppose.

What do you think the Court will decide? Does the transgender community deserve the same civil rights treatment that women and other minorities get when it comes to job discrimination? Or should Christian business owners have the fundamental right to fire people because they are transgender?

14 comments

  1. Allen says:

    Where do we draw the line between religious freedom and State rights?

    1. Mark Zanghetti says:

      Your right to swing your fist ends just before you hit my nose! ;–) This is a situation where they both needed to see that her continuing in his job was not going to be possible. It sucked but she was in his mind still the male he hired, he could not be comfortable in her being in the position, these kind of hard situations end up making bad law.

      1. John A Anderson, CD, CIF Mons ON says:

        Actually, depending on where you are living, the right to swing your fist ends the moment the swing starts in some jurisdictions. Swinging the fist could be construed as assault in some US states, whereas connecting becomes assault and battery. In Canada, simply touching a finger to someone without permission is assault under the law, regardless of intent to help or hurt (former first aid instructor here). A lot depends on the laws applicable in your jurisdiction.

    2. Rev.. Joseph Esquivel says:

      Dear friends,

      As a Rev. I am in bonds to the word of God, Not long ago this was the concept and ideas of everyone. To live as God believed we should, indeed we have been given the gift of free will! But with this gift comes a grave and deep responsibility for all of us. Yes if we choose to break God’s Laws and Commandments, We can. But if we are smart and fear God we know our gift of eternal life is based upon our behavior here on earth. There are many things to overwhelm us in worldly desires. But our future is in being bound to God’s Laws and Commandments. The LBGT have decided to turn the words of God asking us to love one another into filth and degrading physical lust. But in truth when God said he wanted us to love one another it is divine love and no other. If you have doubts of what God has created you to be stand naked in front of a mirror and you will see, what God has created both male and female should be respected above all. I ask you to read these passages and know the truth

      Same Sex Marriage God’s Word:

      Let is understand that God has the final say on the legitimacy of same sex marriages performed in churches. Knowing this as truth in our knowledge of God, we must understand that any minister performing such marriages has broken the commandments concerning the subject of marriage. Marriage is granted by God for the expressed benefit of man and women. No other marriage is accepted before God. Nor can it be performed in a true church of God, to be considered marriage before God as he has Commanded in His Laws.
      Is it not clear to all that God created all creatures both man and women, for the express purpose of procreation, on a low level we find creature such as worms which are A sexual, this and a few more are the only examples other wise. Men and women are not lowly lives created to function in these levels of existence. Beast of the fields, even insects are both male and female. Expressly created in this manner by God for His purpose.
      As it is written in man’s law no one can come into a court and seek restitution without having what is called clean hands. Since it is been shown in Leviticus 18:22-24; Leviticus 20:13. And again in 1 Cor. 6.9. and spoken of in Rom. 1:18-28

      King James Bible 1611 Version

      Lev. 18.22 Thou shalt not lie with mankinde as with womankinde: it is abomination.
      Lev. 20.13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lyeth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shalbe upon them.

      Orthodox Bible
      Book of Sirach

      16:8 He did not spare the cities where Lot sojourned.
      Whom he detested because of their arrogance. †
      16:9 He had no mercy on a nation destined or destruction
      Who were taken away because of their sin. † The men of Sodom are referred to here. In Ezek. 16:49, 50 God declares the people of Sodom were arrogant and had abundant food and wine, but were unconcerned for the poor and needy. They also committed “acts of lawlessness” before God, which are described in Gen. 19: homosexual acts of incredible disgust. The Sodomites were so “haughty” they had to be dealt with by God in extreme harshness.

      Paul fighting Sin and Homosexuality
      In Rome:

      Rom. 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
      Rom. 1:2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
      Rom. 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
      Rom. 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
      Rom. 1:5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
      Rom. 1:6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
      All who profess to believing in Jesus Christ, and what he represents.
      Rom. 1:7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
      Rom. 1:8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
      Rom. 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
      Rom. 1:10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
      Rom. 1:11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
      Becoming established in the Faith of Jesus Christ and his Gospel, receiving spiritual knowledge and understanding of God Commandments, gifted with the wisdom of God’s Words.
      Rom. 1:12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
      In gathering together, we may enhance the Spiritual bonds of the Holy Ghost, in Jesus as Jesus is bound with His Father.
      Rom. 1:13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
      Rom. 1:14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
      I have been blessed to beable to learn both from the Greeks and the Barbarians; both the wise and unwise. (by observation of their intellect as well as their sinful failures and misdeeds.)
      Rom. 1:15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
      Paul realized he was tempered in the melting pot of sin and pleasure of the flesh. See and living amongst the Greeks and Barbarians, knowing and understanding the devastation of the world upon them.
      Rom. 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
      Paul felt great pride and love in understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as pure and perfect as it was, though a difficult burden to bear.
      Rom. 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
      Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
      The wrath of God will be seen and understood from heaven, against all men who have taken the true meaning of God’s commandments and words, then twisted them to be of use for them to sin, as a misinterpretation of His words. As the LBGT has taken the words “God is love” and perverted them to be used for their unholy behavior of lust in the flesh. Unnatural sexual behavior between men and men and women and women.
      Rom. 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
      God has made them both men and women, and the natural use of their body is easily seen and understood, from the first creation of Adam and Eve.
      Rom. 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
      The LBGT society know and understand what God has created and how it is to be used, it is visible in all nature and they have no excuse for their behavior.
      Rom. 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
      Even though they knew God, they would not glorify him as God with their reverence and behavior, nor were they thankful, then became vain in their thought and desired only what pleasures of lust and sin in their imagination, their foolish heart became darkened with the sin and lust of unnatural use of their bodies.
      Rom. 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
      In their own minds believing and thinking they were wise and knew more than God, they became fools for unnatural sexual behavior, men with men and women with women. Think this was and is love as God is.
      Rom. 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
      Changing the glory of the uncorruptible God’s creation and natural balance, of making both male and female in all creatures. They even corrupted the beasts and anything they had a desire of fornicated with, bestiality.
      Rom. 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
      God gave them a free will to do as they would, and they found unclean lust in their own hearts, dishonoring their own flesh between themselves. Bringing them to condemnation before God in their time of judgement as all will.
      Rom. 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
      The then twisted and changed the true Word of God worshipping the creature (Lust, Satan) Not God the Creator who is blessed forever.
      Rom. 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
      God let them become what they sought in vile affections, women changed their desires for men to women, everything against the natural order God created.
      Rom. 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
      Also allowing Men the same deviate behavior, lust turned from women to their own sex men, unseemly behavior.
      Rom. 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
      They did not like to think of God, so God released them into their reprobate minds to fulfill their desires. Allowing them to condemn themselves in their unnatural lust of same sex flesh.
      Rom. 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
      Rom. 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
      Rom. 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
      Rom. 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

      1 Cor. 6.9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

      Definitions

      Effeminate: Greek 3120 μαλακός, malakos, a. GK:3434 [3119]. Fine soft; (n.) male prostitute, a male homosexual who is the passive sex partner :- soft [3], effeminate [1]

      Verses taken from the Orthodox KJV Bible

      Levi. 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman it is an abomination. 23 Nor shall you mate with any animal, to defile yourself with it. Nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it. It is a perversion. 24 Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these ways of life the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before your face. 25 For the land is defiled, and on its account I am repaying them for their wrongdoing. Thus the land became vexed with those dwelling upon it. 26 You shall therefore keep all my ordinances and My judgements and shall not do any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any resident alien who dwells among you 27 (for the men of the land before you did all these abominations, and thus the land was defiled) 28 that the land not be vexed with you in your defilement of it, as it was vexed with the nations before you. 29 For whosoever does any of these abominations, these souls shall be utterly destroyed from among their people. 30 Therefore, you shall keep My ordinances, so as not to do any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and not to defile yourselves by them: for I am the Lord your God.’”

      Levi. 20:13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both have committed an abomination. They shall be put to death, for they are guilty.

      1 Cor. 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,a nor sodomites, a 6.9 That is, catamites
       6.9,10 As to those who will not inherit the kingdom of God, see, 1 Cor. 15:50; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:5; Rev. 21:7, 8; 22:15.

      Definitions

      Sodomites One who practices sodomy
      Sodomy Anal or Oral copulation between members of the same sex.
      Catamites boy or youth having sexual relations with a man.

      Verses from the Septuagint

      Lev. 18:22 And thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, for it is an abomination.

      Lev. 20:13 And whosoever shall lie with a man as with a woman, they have both wrought abomination; let them die the death, they are guilty.

      All these Commandments hold true today as they did since Moses when they were transcribed into Holy Scripture. Guidelines of moral behavior expected of man from our Father God and reaffirmed by Jesus Christ in his Gospel.
      We can see same sex marriages are forbidden before God and considered an abomination in His eyes. What legal precedence can be given to claim these marriages legitimate in God’s Law’s? The simple answer is none what so ever.
      God spoke to his chosen through Moses, laying down the Laws and Commandments of behavior expected of his children. God also said the land given to the chosen was defiled by the previous owners. By them in the practice of the very same behavior He had warned Moses of, and God had taken the land from them and turned it over to his chosen. Because the others had broken the very same Law’s of Commandment spoken of too Moses.
      Are we to believe, that we will not be judged and have judgement past on us for the same failure to live by God’s Laws and Commandments? I’m here to tell you we have an obligation to adhere to God’s Laws and Commandments, as written in Scripture. Or we to can suffer the lose of our land to the disrespect of God’s Laws and Commandments.
      I cannot say by any stretch of the word I have been enlightened by or spoken to by my Father and Creator. But as it has been said in past times Wisdom of Scripture and understanding speaks volumes of what can and could happen for lack of understanding and ignorance of the Word.
      Those who have performed such marriages have lost the ability to claim to be clergy in the sense of Christian and Jewish Laws, and the marriages they performed under the belief of them being legitimate have been judged by God as illegitimate in His eyes and by God’s Law’s.
      Understand they have become sinful misuse of the Law of marriage. All illegitimate marriages performed are null and void of God’s approval from the first attempt. What God will do to those who have performed such marriages is unknown at this point. God will appoint judgement at their appointed time.
      I have come to a disappointing conclusion over these findings. I posted the blog concerning this subject and have had few responses to it of a positive nature. And a less than discerning viewing of the blog. Has the ministry of God’s word become polluted by darkness to the point of a total lose? I would have expected a few true Ministers of good standing to respond with support of this finding and opinion of Same Sex Marriages.
      Has the ministry of the Gospel fallen into total darkness? I cannot believe that not any single man of God would not find the strength of faith to stand upon the Word, Law’s and Commandments of God and Jesus Christ’s Gospel. To show support for the truth of the Scriptures written as Commandments and Laws for man to find salvation.
      I come not to judge man or condemn, but to bring light into the world, as Jesus commanded us to do, for the salvation of the world. Jesus and spoke of men turning against one another. And would find troubles in seeing the light. For it is evil that give pleasure of flesh and greed of the world. Jesus knew how weak men can be lost in worldly pleasures. Jesus knew it would be difficult but he never said it could not or be done. Let us find strength in Jesus Christ and his Gospel of love and mercy. Stand up and be counted as one of the worthy to receive his blessings. For he who will give his strength in voice of support shall receive blessings greater than those of this world. Feel the joy and bring it into your heart through your voice of commitment in the Gospel. Let me hear your voice of wisdom of understanding God’s word.
      Know that all can be accomplished with the strength and understanding of knowledge. Our Father sent the Holy Ghost to us bringing comfort and strength from Our Father and his Son Jesus. To let us know without any doubt He is in us and we are in him, and all that we need to do can and will be done in his name. Find forgiveness, love, mercy and blessings for those lost in sin who can and will be saved with belief and perseverance of faith.
      All I can say is I stand by my findings in the scripture and my opinion will stand true and pure in Jesus’s Gospel. I pray for those who have fallen from the true commandments and laws of our Father and his beloved Son, concerning same sex marriages. I pray in time Jesus will touch others with the truth and give them strength to stand up in respect of His teachings.
      “Amen”

      Rev. Joseph Esquivel
      Good’s Faith in Man Church ULC

      1. Lionheart says:

        Well, just like all of us, you are entitled your opinion. Many of us of course feel you are misguided, just as much as you will believe we are.

        As your first line stated, you are in total bondage to your god, your belief structure, and that’s okay. If that’s what you need to get through your life, I say go for it.

        Insisting you are right and pushing your belief structure on others, based on your indoctrination, and your book of myth and tales, quoting passages from it, insisting you are right and implying everyone else is wrong, is where you let yourself down. It’s a put-down on those of other faiths that worship other man made gods like yours, and those who have no religion whatsoever.

        I pray to my Lord of Logic & Reason that you will one day see the truth and be given the strength to stand up against your indoctrination, and respect the teachings of education. Only then, will you have freedom of thought, and have no bondage whatsoever.

        🦁❤️

  2. Carrie says:

    Simply put, it should be illegal to discriminate….PERIOD!!!!! We are all human. We ALL deserve the right to live our lives under the Constitution Of The United States Of America. EVERY ONE OF US deserves the right to Life Liberty and The Pursuit Of Happiness! You don’t agree with someone’s life style? Shut your curtains, mind your own damn business and live your own life, not theirs! This is not a religious question…if you feel you should have the right to discriminate…you should also have the right to be put in a kennel! Mind your own business, live your own life and the world will be a better place for all of us! Nuff said.

    1. Lionheart says:

      Agreed!

      🦁♥️

      1. minister james says:

        third the motion…

    2. Lori says:

      I forth the motion. Nuff said.

  3. Aaron Freeman says:

    Freedom of Association?

  4. Mark Zanghetti says:

    This is a perfect situation to illustrate my point, in many instances it is perfectly fine to have an employee suddenly decide to transition and it would not be a problem, You are dealing with people already in a state of crisis having just lost a family member or close friend and dealing with an individual who is transgender may just not be possible for them at this moment in time. This may have an extremely serious effect on the bottom line of a small or struggling funeral home. I understand the need for transgender rights, but they cannot be absolute and supersede all other rights. We need to learn how to assert our rights without trampling others, that will be our task going forward.

  5. ET says:

    👍accept that not all follow the same path, and obsess not about the paths of others. This is a secular nation. Our strength is in acceptance.

Leave a Comment