A transgender woman who alleges she was wrongfully fired from a metro Detroit funeral home after transitioning to female is at the center of a landmark civil rights battle before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The court announced on Monday that it will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from being fired based on their sexual orientation or transgender status.
One of the three landmark cases accepted by the court involves Aimee Stephens, who was fired in 2013 from a Garden City funeral home after she informed her employer that she was transitioning from a man to a woman.
Stephens alleges in a lawsuit that her termination from R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home was a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from discriminating against gay or transgender workers.
The U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals sided with Stephens.
The other two cases before the Supreme Court involve a gay man from New York and a gay man from Georgia.
The cases will be watched closely, not only because of the impact of the ruling, but because it’s the first time the court has confronted LGBTQ issues since the retirement last summer of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who supported gay rights. He was replaced by the more conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
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