Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act "prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin".
The Title VII fight marks the court's first major test on a contentious social issue since Trump's appointee Brett Kavanaugh joined it in October after a hard Senate confirmation process. Today, the court announced it will take up the cases of R.G. It's unclear what caused the delay. His Justice Department at the Supreme Court supported the right of certain businesses to refuse to serve gay people on the basis of religious objections to gay marriage. The Trump Justice Department has argued that Title VII was not meant to provide protections to gay or transgender workers. The administration also separately withdrew Obama-era guidance to educators to treat claims of transgender students as sex discrimination.
The justices will take up three cases in the fall.
The sexual orientation cases are Bostock v. Clayton County, No. 17-1618, and Altitude Express v. Zarda, No. 17-1623, at the Supreme Court of the United States. She won her case, with the Sixth Circuit appeals court ruling in her favor.
"Sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination because sexual orientation is defined by one's sex in relation to the sex of those to whom one is attracted", it ruled. He tried to put a woman with whom he was jumping at ease by explaining that he was gay. He claimed he was sacked in 2010 for divulging this information after the woman's boyfriend complained to his employer.
Zarda died in a wingsuit accident in Switzerland in 2014. A 1989 Supreme Court case, however, held that discrimination based on gender stereotypes (e.g., demanding "masculine" or "feminine" behavior or attire from employees) was covered by federal laws, and another in 1998 extended coverage to a man subjected to sexual harassment from other men. Gerald Bostock claimed he was sacked in 2013 because he is gay. The county said he was sacked following an audit of the program he managed.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed Bostock's claim in a three-page opinion that noted the court was bound by a 1979 decision that held "discharge for homosexuality is not prohibited by Title VII".
The ACLU on that case: "Aimee Stephens had worked for almost six years as a funeral director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes when she informed the funeral home's owner that she is a transgender woman". The appeals court in Cincinnati ruled that the firing constituted sex discrimination under federal law.
In R.G. & G.R. HARRIS FUNERAL HOMES v. EEOC and AIMEE STEPHENS, Aimee Stephens worked as a funeral director at R.G.
The debate surrounding the Equality Act illustrates how new protections for LGBTQ Americans can clash with religious freedom laws. But that issue, which involves statutory interpretation of civil-rights laws, is actually still in a legal limbo. But such a change is unlikely to become law with Republicans in charge of the Senate and Trump in the White House.
A similar rationale was put forth by the Second Circuit in the Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda case.