The U.S. Supreme Court this week agreed to hear a case involving a Christian funeral home that refused to allow the male director to pretend to be a woman at work.
The man complained to the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EEOC), and a lower court ruled for the funeral home. The EEOC appealed the case, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled against the funeral home. The owners asked the nation’s highest court to hear the case, and the court agreed.
At issue is whether the prohibition against discrimination based on sex in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes “gender identity” or “transition status.”
The funeral home’s legal counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), said the owner has a sex-specific dress code, and the man in question wanted to dress as a woman when meeting with grieving families. An excerpt (emphasis added):
“Neither government agencies nor the courts have authority to rewrite federal law by replacing ‘sex’ with ‘gender identity’—a change with widespread consequences for everyone,” said Bursch. “Businesses have the right to rely on what the law is—not what government agencies want it to be—when they create and enforce employment policies. The funeral home wants to serve families mourning the loss of a loved one, but the EEOC has elevated its political goals above the interests of the grieving people that the funeral home serves.”
“These are important policy questions that the people have the right to decide through their elected officials,” said ADF Senior Counsel Jim Campbell. “Unelected officials—whether bureaucrats or judges—don’t have the power to make these choices for us.”
As ADF noted, it’s up to Congress to rewrite federal law, not courts or government agencies.