“I realize that some of you may have trouble understanding this,” Stephens wrote in the letter. Celebrities are using Election Day fashion as a form of advocacy. Any employee who does not fit a gender binary, or any employee whose life does not fit into the tidy and narrow boxes of traditional gender norms, stands to benefit from a decision in Stephens’ favor. But until this Supreme Court ruling on Monday, people were without protection in about half the nation. Yeah, so there are actually three separate cases, two of them involving gay men, one involving a transgender woman. And drilling down just a little bit more, the key question is whether the phrase “discrimination because of sex” covers sexual orientation and gender identity. Stephens died from complications related to kidney failure on May 12, 2020. Growing up, Aimee Stephens wanted to be a Baptist Minister because she wanted to help people.  She worked as a funeral director in Detroit and was fired for being transgender. I will say this, Michael, that if you’d asked me in September what the outcome of this case was going to be, I would have said it’s classic 5-4, conservatives against liberals. And on Monday, the Food and Drug Administration reversed course and revoked its emergency authorization of two malaria drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, as treatments for Covid-19. During her life, Stephens rose to prominence after being fired for coming out as transgender to her employer, Harris Funeral Home, in 2013. Ai-mee! We will remove this and make the changes needed. Aimee Stephens, whose potentially groundbreaking case before the Supreme Court could have major implications for the fight for civil rights for transgender people, died on Tuesday at her home in Redford, Mich., outside Detroit. It’s hard to imagine a world where being a woman so upsets and offends my employer that they feel their only recourse is to fire me. According to a GoFundMe page set up by her family last week, Stephens had been struggling with kidney disease for several years. “In truth, I have had to live with it every day of my life, and even I do not fully understand it myself.”. Sign up for Yahoo Life’s daily newsletter, civil rights case was heard by the Supreme Court, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), workplace discrimination on the basis of sex, joined other LGBTQ employment rights cases, COVID-19 and kids: Why cases of rare MIS-C are rising, There will be a record number of women in the next Congress, Stacey Abrams has been pivotal for voter turnout. As a gesture of compassion, Aimee’s former employer has offered to handle all aspect’s of his funeral and burial free of charge. Ultimately, Stephens fought back by suing the funeral home on Title VII grounds, which prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sex. Thank you for your feedback. & G.R. Right, this letter that she had spent years composing in her head and on paper that told her friends and her colleagues and her boss who she was, was actually what ended up getting her fired. I am writing this both to inform you of a significant change in my life and to ask for your patience, understanding, and support, which I would treasure greatly. Aimee Stephens, Transgender Woman at Heart of Supreme Court Battle, Dies. But they’re individual people with individual jurisprudential commitments, and they will from time to time surprise you as Justice Gorsuch surprised us in this one. And I guess the chief justice came along for the ride. "My wife Aimee was my soulmate. Justice Gorsuch, who is ordinarily very sympathetic to those kinds of claims of religion said, listen, that’s not this case. It’s interesting that this decision comes three and a half years into an administration, the Trump administration, that has repeatedly taken actions to restrict the rights of transgender Americans, in particular. He’s the only one whose language we have in front of us and whose reasoning we know for certain. "I am grateful for this victory to honor the legacy of Aimee, and to ensure people are treated fairly regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity," she added. How about some more R29 goodness, right here? And two of their conservative allies went in the other direction. You said this was —. Then Alito and Thomas, but not Kavanaugh, go on to talk about what they view as the very pernicious consequences of the majority decision, which they say will have an impact on restrooms and locker rooms and college sports and maybe professional sports and religious employers and freedom of speech. Black Moms Have Been Jailed for Less. And Justice Kavanaugh in his dissent says, even today, when you ask people what “because of sex” means to them, they will not typically say oh, that means because of sexual orientation, because of gender identity. Well, the key justice is Justice Gorsuch. With the support of my loving wife, I have decided to become the person that my mind already is. Sure, they’re nervous about this ruling. “In the face of an employer who fired him just for dressing up as a woman to conduct funerals while speaking in an exaggerated high pitched tone, Aimee came forward to share his personal story in front of the court and millions of Americans,” said Strangio. Stephens’ case was escalated past Detroit District court on the argument that Title VII should include gender identity in addition to sex. A spokesman for R.G. “We are saddened to hear that Aimee Stephens, plaintiff on the groundbreaking SCOTUS regarding #trans rights, has passed,” the National Center for Transgender Equality wrote in a statement. Supreme Court plaintiff and transgender civil rights hero Aimee Stephens died on Tuesday following a long bout with kidney disease. If you want to look like Emily from "Emily in Paris" without breaking the bank, here are six key pieces you need in your wardrobe. Right, and as I recall from talking about these oral arguments with you many months ago, the case very much rested, not just on what the entire court thought of the phrase “because of sex” and what it meant, but specifically what the conservative justices on the court, who are now in the majority — what they thought that that phrase meant. But her legacy could reach even further. I am thankful that the court said my transgender siblings and I have a place in our laws. Amy Coney Barrett Exposed Her Kids to COVID-19. There are other laws and constitutional provisions which can protect religious people and religious employers. So Gorsuch is arguing, you can’t divorce discrimination based on sexual identity, sexual orientation, from gender, and perhaps cultural expectations of gender. I have known many of you for some time now, and I count you all as my friends. At the end of my vacation, on Aug. 26, 2013, I will return to work as my true self, Aimee Australia Stephens, in appropriate business attire. But if you accept severance package, you will have to agree to keep your mouth shut and not ever talk about this to anyone. She enjoyed knowing that she was helping people remember their loved ones at peace. “The more I’ve seen the support, it gives me the strength to get up another day, to go on fighting another day and give that same hope to all the rest.”. There’s also no denying that should the Roberts Court side with Stephens and find that firing someone for being trans is a violation on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s ban on sex-stereotyping (and not merely an employer enforcing company dress code), that I stand to benefit from that decision. polices this great city. “Aimee did not set out to be a hero and a trailblazer, but she is one, and our country owes her a debt of gratitude for her commitment to justice for all people and her dedication to our transgender community,” Chase Strangio, deputy director for Trans Justice with the ACLU’s LGBT & HIV Project and a member of Stephens’ legal team, said in a statement. allowed the drugs to be used by hospitals treating patients with the coronavirus. Use AND/OR/NOT between keywords or phrases for more precise search results. So how does Monday’s decision affect those? Aimee Stephens, a transgender Redford fellow whose case questioning whether federal law protected transgender individuals from job discrimination became the first of its kind to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, died Tuesday from advanced AIDS complications. And in dissent, Justice Alito said they’re right to be nervous, that this ruling can make religious people and religious employers on the hook for employment discrimination if they just follow the dictates of their faith. It made me feel safer and more included in society.”. Harris Funeral Homes doing what I have always done, which is my best.”. “What I must tell you is very difficult for me and is taking all the courage I can muster,” she wrote. And that yes, I would see this to the end. people to live as ourselves at work and in every aspect of our lives,” he said in a statement. The fundraiser was set up to raise money for end-of-life costs, as well as lost income from being fired from her job in 2013. So in the national debate over the rights for gay and transgender people, this was a kind of untouched area — employment. The protests reflect that. John Bursch, a west Michigan lawyer who represented Rost before the Supreme Court, argued that to allow the decision to stand would be to open all sorts of gender-based programs, including those that are intended to benefit women who are actually born female, to men who made the decision to just dress like women. Adam, you’ve been covering the Supreme Court for The Times for more than a decade. There’s nothing quite like finding out that your least favorite celebrity is a bad tipper. In her final days, Stephens was surrounded by her family who stood with her until the very end — including her wife Donna Stephens, and daughter, Elizabeth who she is survived by, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Michael Barbaro, see you tomorrow. “As we, and millions, carry her work for justice forward, may she rest in power and continue to guide us on this path,” Strangio said. I realize that some of you may have trouble understanding this. How Listening to Trans Kids Can Create Real Change—in the Classroom and Beyond, Amy Coney Barrett Didn’t Want to Talk About Abortion—Sen. So to get a 6-3 victory from this court on a consequential, stunning, vastly important decision is really something. And the only thing I knew to do was basically to take it to court. Yeah, that’s right, Michael. Adam, how is this ruling being received by those who are champions of religious liberty? Aimee, who was a biologically born male, confronted his boss at R.G. Fashion experts say warm browns and earth tones are some of 2020’s trendiest fall colors. Rebel Wilson is rocking a one-piece on vacation and it’s magical. “Firing me because I’m transgender was discrimination, plain and simple. Adam Liptak and Jenny Gross contributed reporting. Adam, tell us about this ruling on Monday. Her case — R.G. © 2020 Rewire News Group. We can do it better. Strangio was among a number of prominent members of the LGBTQ+ community to commemorate Stephens for her strength and journey that took her into the Supreme Court.
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