As the political left continues to do their best to cobble together a voter base mostly by pandering to the demands of small groups of people, they are increasingly pushing for more and more ‘protections’ for various ‘minority’ groups. Usually, these ‘protections’ take the form of preferential treatment in a number of circumstances, including in the workplace.
Today, however, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant joined with 15 other republican leaders across the United States to limit the ‘protections’ given out. This group signed a brief to the justices on the United States Supreme Court, asking that they rule that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender people, and that employers can fire them for their ‘gender identity.’ The legal point behind their filing is a valid one from a number of viewpoints, regardless that some may not like it.
In that ruling, the Sixth Circuit Court decided that a Michigan employer, who was also a devout Christian, violated an employee’s Title VII protections when they fired her after she informed them that she was transgender and transitioning.
Title VII bars employers from being allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, or national origin.
The lawsuit, which was brought against Detroit-based R.G. & G.R., began in 2014, when Aimee Stephens filed a sex-discrimination claim after she was fired from her job working as a funeral director.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency, brought the lawsuit against the funeral home.
According to Stephens, the only reason given for her firing was that she was transitioning, and that the public was not likely to respond well to her transition.
Over the course of their investigation, the EEOC also claimed that the funeral home would cover clothing costs for male employees, but not for female employees.
Originally, a lower court ruled against Stephens and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, but when the case was appealed to the Sixth Circuit, that ruling was overturned.
In their ruling, the court found that discrimination against employees, either “because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes” or due to their “transgender and transitioning status” is illegal under Title VII.
Governor Phil Bryant was one of only three republican governors who signed the amicus brief. The other 13 people who signed the document were republican attorneys general.
In the brief that the 16 signed, they argue that, among other reasons for rejecting the ruling as it currently stands, Title VII does not define “sex” to mean anything other than biological status.
They pointed out that terms like ‘transgender,’ ‘transitioning status,’ or ‘gender identity’ don’t appear either in the text nor in the entire legislative history of Title VII.
It’s true, when the legislation was written, none of those appeared (or were even in common use.)
That case, which was heard in 1989, involved a female employee who said that she was being discriminated against by her employer because she was not feminine enough.
According to their interpretation of the case, the Sixth Court of Appeals said that “sex,” as used in Title VII, requires that employee decisions are made without considering gender.
The case has given leftists yet another reason to complain about the likely confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis went even a step further, and suggested that if confirmed as a Supreme Court Justice, he would have a chance to “ensconce” the president’s allegedly anti-LGBTQ agenda on the highest court in the land for years to come.
However, these kind of laws are easily abused, and they represent an encroachment on the right of business owners.
The Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling didn’t take a strong stand for the First Amendment, which includes the right to freedom of association, but rather said that the agency in Colorado showed an obviously biased process when they went after the shop.
Imagine a similar situation where the idea of freedom of association was at stake? An extremely religious man, who won’t even make custom cakes for Halloween, could be forced to hire people whose lifestyles he doesn’t agree with.
Any homosexual or ‘other’ gendered person that he didn’t hire would be able to claim that they were only not hired due to their protected status.
The more people on arbitrary lists of ‘protected’ groups, the less truly free a business owner is to associate with who they wish, and the more they’re open to harassment by government groups.