Via Bloomberg Law
A group of 16 states urged the U.S. Supreme Court Aug. 23 to rule that companies can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law.
The states, led by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson, asked the justices to overturn an appeals court decision against a Michigan funeral home that fired a transgender worker. They said Congress didn’t intend the ban on sex discrimination in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act to cover bias against lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender employees. “The States’ purpose is to note that ‘sex’ under the plain terms of Title VII does not mean anything other than biological status,” Peterson wrote.
The friend-of-the-court brief is the latest development in a legal debate that has divided courts and exposed a rift within the Trump administration. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says LGBT bias already is banned, but the Justice Department disagrees.
Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin joined the group to support states’ rights to determine employment protections.
“The state’s authority to create employment protections outside Title VII was established when the law was enacted in 1964 and should not change as a result of modern-day judicial activism,” Kuhn said. “Since Attorney General (Andy) Beshear will not defend the well-settled law supported by most Kentuckians, Gov. Bevin was compelled to join attorneys general from other states to ensure that Kentucky’s authority is not stripped away by the courts.”
The brief was co-authored by Nebraska Deputy Attorney General David Bydalek, formerly policy director of the Nebraska affiliate of the anti-gay hate group Focus On The Family.