SCOTUS Considers Whether Word ‘Sex’ Should Mean ‘Gender Identity’

Oct 11, 2019

The ACLU is pushing the U.S. Supreme Court to redefine the word “sex” as used in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination in the workplace, to mean whatever one subjectively perceives his or her sex to be through the very important case R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

On Tuesday, the highest court in the land heard oral arguments in the case that began in 2013 when a male funeral director at Harris Funeral Homes advised the owner, Tom Rost, that he now identified as a woman and would dress accordingly while at work. Rost advised the employee he could not do so because that violated the company’s industry standard sex-specific dress code. The funeral director then filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which then filed a lawsuit against the funeral home for sex discrimination in the workplace.

Though the federal government sides with Harris Funeral Homes on the issue, the ACLU is nonetheless persistently trying to change the law via this lawsuit. The case is one of three involving the interpretation of “sex” under Title VII that the Court consolidated to be heard as one.

It is imperative that the U.S. Supreme Court does not adopt a redefined view of human sexuality or think its power now extends to redefining words that had a commonly understood meaning at the time they were used in legislation.

If “sex” were to be redefined, not only would that be governmental overreach in allowing unelected officials to make law, but it would undoubtedly lead to undermining women’s safety, privacy, and dignity in sex-specific locker rooms, restrooms, and shelters, while also impacting equal opportunities for women and girls in employment situations and sex-specific sports.

A ruling is likely by the end of June 2020.

News Sources

ADF Defends Harris Funeral Homes at the U.S. Supreme Court

Why You Should Care About the Outcome of the Harris Funeral Homes Supreme Court Case

Supreme Court Justices Ponder the Meaning of ‘Sex’
Daily Signal

Gorsuch sends mixed signals during Supreme Court arguments on redefining sex discrimination

R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Transcript

Bostock v. Clayton County and Altitude Express v. Zarda Transcripts

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