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USA: Supreme Court to decide if prohibition of sex discrimination at work applies to LGBTQ people through Civil Rights Act

Author: Dominic Rushe, Guardian (UK), Published on: 3 October 2019

"'There is no protection': case of trans woman fired after coming out could make history," 30 Sep 2019

...Stephens, modest, quietly spoken but full of steely resolve, is at the center of the most important LGBTQ rights case to come before the US supreme court since it ruled in favor of marriage equality in 2015. After years of mixed decisions in lower courts the justices must decide whether or not sex is a defining factor when LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination at work by the Civil Rights Act, the landmark 1964 legislation that outlaws discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex, or national origin...

...When Stephens came out at work she was fired from her job as a funeral director. Her boss, Thomas Rost, a devout Christian, refused to accept Stephens was a woman. Rost testified that he fired Stephens because she “was no longer to represent himself as a man” and “wanted to dress as a woman”, according to court documents, and said her proposal violated the funeral home’s dress code...

Stephens’ case is one of three discrimination cases involving LGBTQ individuals that the court will hear on 8 October and the first supreme court case involving the civil rights of transgender people...

Stephens’ case is not unusual. Only 21 out of the 50 states in the US have specific civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. While it is now legal for same-sex couples to marry in any state, they can still be fired for coming out across much of the country...

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