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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Rachelle roberson

The article states this person was fired for presenting as a woman . A true transsexual does not present they just are . That is the problem here , a person can call themselves what ever they want but until said person undergoes the process they will be just another man in a dress. Clothing does not make a person who they are . Dont change the body your still a man plain and simple. And there is no scripture anywhere about body modification just like a nose job or breast augmentation it's not a sin . Period. And any fool who thinks that you will always be a man obviously never heard of all the chromosome abnormalities out there . so you see things are not as black n white as people have been taught. Now go run along and try to find the passage that says changing sex is wrong . newsflash its not there. Anywhere

Griffin J

"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, not print any Marks upon you: I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:28 KJV"
It's all still Iron Age B***S***


The Hoover Administration attempted to censor John Steinbeck's famous book "The Grapes of Wrath" - a perfectly legal First Amendment exercise that exposed too much truth to the American voters.

Today's government officials and contractors at federal, state and local level have that very same contempt for legal First Amendment exercises. You are likely to receive more scrutiny supporting healthy police reform on Facebook (legal First Amendment activity) than stockpiling weapons of war. The First Amendment appears to be the top threat of many government officials.

Now officials are trying to investigate "anonymous political speech" - like on this ACLU website - essentially viewing it as reasonable suspicion. The game here is that there is no effective oversight or risk of criminal penalty for the censors themselves when they covertly investigate and punish Americans for perfectly legal First Amendment activities. They are apparently trying to exploit alleged political speech by a foreign nation.

Here is a potential solution: an independent and reliable scoring system that grades truth vs. opinion and full-context vs. half-truths. In other words as long as voters and readers are getting truthful facts, are informed of opinions vs. facts and the context value - does it matter if artists and authors operate anonymously to counter illegal punishments for legal First Amendment activity?

For over a 1000 years, governments have tried to censor artists and writers - not for truth but to withhold truth from citizens - like we did with John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath". In the Internet age, we vitally need a scoring system to counter officials from violating their own oath of office.


While not all foreign perspectives are beneficial, some are. One could make a strong argument that a leader like Germany's Angela Merkel's perspective is actually closer to James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin than many American leaders are. One could also argue that many of today's American leaders are closer to East Germany's Erik Honaker than any of the Founding Fathers.

One possible explanation might be that leaders like Merkel, like the Founding Fathers, eye-witnessed and lived through the East German Stasi (or Red Coats) during the Cold War, while American leaders have largely forgotten the wisdom of 2000 years of history.

It should also be noted that although Hollywood did warn Americans with movies like "Enemy of the State" and "Minority Report" of the dangers of preemption policies and blacklisting, American movie makers were largely silent after AG Ashcroft created this legal environment after 9/11. European film makers did coincidently release films like "The Lives of Others" when our constitutional government was out-of-order.

In other words, when American leaders aren't leading, maybe some foreign perspectives are beneficial!


All these so called Christian's will not be headed to heaven when they leave this world. God said love one another, and not to judge. So if you judge or do not live your fellow human guess what you are going to HELL. I am an ordained Reverend, know the bible inside and out, know the history of the Christian religion. If you work on a Sunday, eat lobster or shellfish, wear mix blended clothing you are going to Hell. Studying religious history and knowing what I know, the bible was written by man, not God it has been used as a tool to control people and has caused more wars and death with its lies than any other book in human history. LGBTQ people have been around since the beginning of time and are more open and loving than so called Christian's. They should have the same rights as any other human. Stop it with your lies, hated and all-around bullshit. Learn to live one another and get over your own insecurities.


such a disgusting act and I hope the community bankrupts his hate fill ass

lloyd schofield

The ACLU has been on the forefront of defending religious discrimination by promoting the barbaric act of forced genital mutilation and acting against the protection of children from physical and emotional harm.


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