Tomorrow: SCOTUS Hears LGBT Employment Cases

Roll Call reports:

The Supreme Court confronts a major civil rights issue Tuesday over how broadly the justices should read the word “sex” in a 55-year-old anti-discrimination law — and a key aspect is Congress’ current push to clarify that the law covers LGBT individuals.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits private companies from discriminating against employees on the basis of “sex,” seen at the time as a historic step for women’s rights. But in oral argument on a trio of cases, the justices will delve into whether that word — sex — means the law also gives those protections to gay, lesbian and transgender workers.

Democratic lawmakers, who this year advanced legislation to ensure LGBT workplace protections under Title VII no matter how the court rules, told the justices in a brief that “sex” already covers LGBT workers. Republican lawmakers filed a brief in the case to argue that it doesn’t.

ABC News reports:

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will consider whether Aimee Stephens and thousands of transgender Americans are protected from employment discrimination under the Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which bars employers from terminating workers because of sex.

The court will also hear cases involving a Georgia child welfare services official and a New York skydiving instructor who each allege they were fired because they are gay.

“It would be nice to have our rights finally protected, that we have the same basic human rights as everyone else does,” said Stephens, a transgender Michigan woman who was fired from R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home, where she had worked as a funeral director for nearly six years, after coming out.