Think Religiously Motivated Discrimination Can’t Affect You? Guess Again.

Aimee Stephens knows first-hand how religiously-motivated discrimination can wreck your life. Aimee worked as a funeral director for a Michigan funeral home for six years. Aimee is a woman who is transgender, but for six years she went to work presenting as a man, while she struggled to be able to live her life as a woman. When she could hide no longer, she came out to her boss. Two weeks later, he fired her, saying “this is not going to work out.”

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued on Aimee’s behalf, seeking a remedy for the funeral home’s blatant sex discrimination. The funeral home didn’t deny that it fired Aimee because she was going to present as a woman. Instead it said that federal law allows it to fire her because of the funeral home owner’s religious belief that it’s a sin to transition from one gender to another.

A federal judge in Detroit agreed with the funeral home and dismissed the EEOC’s suit. The judge ruled that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) permitted the funeral home to use to justify discrimination against transgender employees. That court’s view, if allowed to stand, would carve out an exception to federal civil rights laws for any employer with religious beliefs that support discrimination. And it could authorize not just anti-transgender discrimination, but discrimination based on race, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation – in short, all civil rights protections that are basic guarantees of equality in America.

The ACLU, representing Aimee, is before the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit today challenging the trial court ruling. While the freedom of religion is a core American value that’s protected by the Constitution, religious freedom doesn’t give anyone the right to discriminate.

Aimee Stephens’s case is just one example of how those opposed to LGBT rights are seeking to use religion as an excuse to discriminate. Later this fall, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in another religious exemptions case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In that case, a bakery outside Denver refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple, Dave Mullins and Charlie Craig citing the bakery’s religious objections to gay people getting married. The Supreme Court is set to decide whether

the bakery has a constitutional right to discriminate based on its religious beliefs and its artistic freedom.

Anti-LGBT advocates are also trying to use religion to deny people health care. In a Texas case, health care providers have challenged federal rules that bar discrimination in access to health care. They argue that such rules violate their religious freedom in requiring them to provide health care to transgender people. And in California, a Catholic hospital refused to perform a hysterectomy on a transgender man, arguing that its religious beliefs justify turning the patient away.

In the past, courts have largely rejected attempts to use religion to discriminate. But our opponents haven’t given up. We need to fight back, for Aimee Stephens and for LGBT people all across the country.

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Dr. Joseph Goebbels

You would think that a funeral home would be a perfect place for a transgender person to work, after all, Herman Munster worked in a funeral home and they rarely fired him.

P. Harris

Your mom said to clean your room before dinner.

12 Disciples

The 12 disciples took regular baths together to wash the sperm off each other. They were all gay Jews with foot fetishes. Just like Nazis and the klan. They live dick.

Anonymous

Almost funny.....jerkwad.

Michele L. Therien

I REFUSE to be anonymous.

It is absolutely, positively disgusting that people use religion to discriminate against someone. America is becoming more and more vile by the day.

Amber Gowens

Go ahead and state your name. No one is afraid of you.
People have a right to their religious beliefs and if their beliefs impede on another, so be it. My mom always used to say "a man pressed against his will, will be under the same impression still." No amount of "equality" laws will change a person's heart as to what he or she values. You can't force "equality" laws to try and silence religious people then try to preach a message of tolerance for all people. Your bias *ahem* favoritism is clearly towards the LGBT community, which in and of itself is a contradiction to total tolerance. TOTAL TOLERANCE DOES NOT EXIST JUST FYI. Plus, the LGBT community discriminates against Christians when they hire and promote their own in the workplace rather than hire a religious believer with the same qualifications. Bye.

Anonymous

Using God and the bible to justify hatred towards anyone is the least christian thing there is. Twisting the words and scriptures of God and using them as an excuse to hate and persecute others is sacrilegious. If anyone knows what it is like to be discriminated against and abused by society it's Jesus Christ. If he would have hid who he truly was he'd still be alive instead people turned on him because he thought differently, he went against the people "in charge" and their supporters and they murdered him for it.Do these "christians" forget that,do they chose to or is their hatred so powerful they don't care as long as they get their ego stroked and get to feel superior with the fact they can get away with. The devil must be amused at the fact that these "christians" are making Jesus' sacrifice trivial, i am sure he'll reward them when their time comes.

Amber Gowens Is...

Amber Gowens said "People have a right to their religious beliefs and if their beliefs impede on another, so be it."

Great! Since many religions allow for the killing of non-believers, I hope a non-Christian fanatic finds you. As you say, after all, "if their beliefs impede on another, so be it."

Derrick Lawson

I don’t see how you can call yourself a Christian & do something like that. It seems to be the conservative Christian Right’s new playbook on how to phase LGBTQ+ people out of existence. Well, we’re not going anywhere. Even if we don’t have representation in the White House.

Also, I’d love for someone to show me the scripture about how transitioning is a sin. I’m sure there isn’t one, but I’m also sure that they’ll find a verse that justifies their bigotry, even if it’s taken out of context.

Derrick Lawson

I needed to add that I am a gay, perverted homosexual. I hate all Christians and the Bible. I'm a NUT like all liberals. I also like to wear pink panties and hope to have transitional sex change as soon as I move out of my parents basement.

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