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The three cases will ask the justices to decide whether federal law barring discrimination based on ‘sex’ applies to ‘gay’ and ‘transgender’ employees.
By Joan Frawley Desmond, National Catholic Register, 9/30/19
WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court will begin its 2019-2020 term with a thunderclap: a trio of cases that could result in the extension of federal employment protections that now bar discrimination based on “sex” to encompass workers who identify as “gay” or “transgender.”
“When Title VII passed in 1964, there is no question that Congress at that time did not intend to include gender identity or sexual orientation, and most appellate courts have recognized that,” said Eric Kniffin, a Colorado-based attorney who specializes in religious-freedom issues in the workplace.
“But some courts have opened up these cases” to a different statutory interpretation, Kniffin told the Register, and a Supreme Court ruling that sides with the employees’ argument could have far-reaching consequences for religious employers in particular.
On Oct. 8, the justices will first hear consolidated oral arguments for Altitude Express v. Zarda and Bostock v. Clayton County, two cases brought by employees who contend that their sexual orientation led to their dismissal. ….