The Supreme Court's decision in these cases could effectively decide whether to solidify or take away non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people under federal civil rights laws - which prohibit sex discrimination in contexts ranging from employment to housing, healthcare, and education.
If justices rule that "sex discrimination" includes sexual orientation and gender identity-based discrimination, religiously affiliated businesses or schools could face lawsuits if they refuse to hire gay or transgender employees.
Another of the cases involves a male MI funeral home employee who dressed as a woman.
A Georgia man, who alleges he was sacked as a child welfare services coordinator because he is gay, lost his legal challenge against Clayton County, Georgia, in the Eleventh Circuit, which said sexual orientation is not a protected class. A federal court initially rejected his discrimination claim before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII's language about sex discrimination does apply to sexual orientation in February 2018.
Even if the Supreme Court declines to recognize LGBT discrimination as a form of sex discrimination under Title VII, employers must still comply with state and local laws relating to employment discrimination, Markison said.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court added three key cases to its docket for next term - all of them impacting the intersection of religious liberty and gay and transgender employment protection.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh succeeded Kennedy in October 2018. The bill is likely to pass the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives but may stall in the Republican-controlled Senate, noted Nonnie Shivers, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Phoenix. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v.
In one, the federal appeals court in NY ruled in favoring a gay skydiving instructor who claimed he was sacked because of his sexual orientation. Stephens won in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that discrimination against transgender people is prohibited under Title VII. To the contrary, there is a judicial consensus that the public meaning of Title VII in 1964 did not include sexual orientation or transgender discrimination. In doing so, those judges agreed that Congress in 1964 did not intend to protect gay, lesbian or transgender people.
The Supreme Court generally hears cases in which multiple appellate courts disagree about the same question of law.
The Supreme Court will decide its first set of LGBT rights cases following Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement.
"Sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination because sexual orientation is defined by one's sex in relation to the sex of those to whom one is attracted, making it impossible for an employer to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without taking sex into account", the decision reads.
The cases are Altitude Express, et al., v. Melissa Zarda, et al., Docket No. 17-1623; Gerald Bostock v. Clayton County, Docket No. 17-1618; and R.G.
Jim Campbell, an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) appeared on Monday's CBN Newswatch program to discuss the case involving the MI funeral home.
The first revolves around Donald Zarda, a late former skydiving instructor who alleged that his old company, Altitude Express Inc, fired him because of his sexuality. Today, the court announced it will take up the cases of R.G. This has been a source of contention between federal courts and the Trump-Pence administration. But if the rulings go the other way and limit the scope of sex discrimination protections, LGBTQ workers may have no legal recourse to being fired or mistreated. He claimed he was sacked in 2010 for divulging this information after the woman's boyfriend complained to his employer.