Sex, “Gender Identity” Case Hits Supreme Court Today: Brief Filed by Texas Values Opposes ACLU Efforts
Austin, Texas – The United States Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments in the Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today, in a case with far-reaching effects for people of faith, and protection for women. Texas Values has signed on to a legal amicus brief for this case filed at the US Supreme Court.
Jonathan Saenz, Attorney for Texas Values said: “No business owner should be punished for relying on existing laws and that is exactly what the ACLU is trying to do by attacking Harris Funeral Homes in this case. Allowing the ACLU to redefine “sex” to mean “gender identity” is unfair to women and girls in sports; and will result in the government punishing people for using the wrong ‘pronoun.’ We stopped these efforts in Texas, but if the Supreme Court rules against this private funeral home our state could be forced to comply with this ACLU rewrite which will gut the First Amendment.”
While the federal government (EEOC) has now changed its position and now agrees with the funeral home that “sex” in federal employment law refers to biological sex, the ACLU is still pursuing the case against Harris Funeral Homes in an effort to rewrite the law.
The case revolves around Tom Rost and his family owned business, Harris Funeral Homes, which has been operating for 100 years in Michigan. Harris Funeral Homes has a sex-specific dress code as part of its professional codes of conduct. Those policies help ensure that families can focus on the grieving process rather than the funeral home or its staff. The dress code is consistent with industry standards and federal law. Every employee agrees to follow the dress code upon being hired. One day an employee who had worked for the company for close to 6 years, decided he was going to begin dressing and presenting himself as a woman. When Tom decided he could not go along with the employee’s plan to violate the dress code, the employee filed a complaint against Tom with the EEOC. The EEOC believed that “sex” should mean “gender identity” in federal employment law, and it imposed this view on Tom in its efforts to punish him.
Some of the far-reaching consequences of replacing “sex” with “gender identity” include:
- Undermines equal opportunities for women and girls who are forced to compete against biological males who identify as girls — producing an unequal playing field for girls.
- Results in women’s shelters being forced to allow males who identify as female to sleep mere feet away from women who have been raped, trafficked, or abused.
- Force employers and schools to open locker rooms, restrooms, and showers to men who claim a female identity — making the dignity and privacy of women everywhere contingent on others’ beliefs about their own gender.
- Require doctors to participate in (and employers to pay for) hormone blockers or surgical attempts to change sex in violation of religious beliefs — sacrificing freedom of conscience.
- Compels professionals from all walks of life to use pronouns and other sex-specific terms according to identity rather than biology or risk losing their jobs — threatening freedom of speech.
- Puts employers like Tom Rost and Harris Funeral Homes in impossible situations where they are forced to decide who is masculine or feminine enough to present a certain way — forcing employers to stereotype their own employees!
About Texas Values
Texas Values is the largest statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.