Cross dresser wins federal appeals court case over firing from nursing home

The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday struck down an employee termination based on the employee’s transgender identity, despite the employer’s strong religious beliefs.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) [official website] pursued the claim on behalf of Aimee Stephens, a former employee of Defendant-Appellant R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. [website]. Stephens was terminated two weeks after revealing to the funeral home that she was transgender and would begin dressing as a woman for work. Funeral home owner Thomas Rotz’s defended the termination, arguing transgender identity is against his religious beliefs. The court acknowledged the company’s religious endorsement was strong and even pointed to the mission statement included on the website. The court described the mission statement as: “[T]he Funeral Home’s ‘highest priority is to honor God in all that we do as a company and as individuals’ and includes a verse of scripture on the bottom of the mission statement webpage.” JURIST

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