© 2024 Michigan State University Board of Trustees
Public Media from Michigan State University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

US Supreme Court To Hear Case Discrimination Case Involving Michigan Funeral Home

flickr creative commons

The United States Supreme Court will hear arguments in a sex discrimination case involving a Michigan funeral home.

Aimee Stephens was a funeral director at R.G and G.R Harris Funeral Homes. The company has three locations in Michigan. Stephens says she was fired when she told the owners she was transitioning from male to female and would begin to wear women’s clothing. The Court of Appeals ruled that the funeral home’s firing of Stephens was unlawful sex discrimination under federal law.

The funeral home appealed to the US Supreme Court. Jim Campbell is an attorney with Alliance Defending Freedom – that’s a conservative law firm that represents the funeral home. He said the courts can’t rewrite federal law to have “sex” mean “gender identity.”

“We’re hopeful that the court will correct that mistake and will make it clear that changes like this must only come through Congress,” he said.

The makeup of the court has changed dramatically since the same court legalized same sex marriage. President Donald Trump recently appointed two new, conservative judges.

Jay Kaplan is an attorney with the ACLU of Michigan – the organization has filed briefs in the case. He said they are concerned about the makeup of the court. But Kaplan continued, “I think if the court decides that firing LGBT people is legal, I think that would shock most of America.”

The case will be decided along with two other cases where LGBTQ people say they were fired due to their sexual orientation. The court will hear arguments in the fall.

Before becoming the newest Capitol reporter for Michigan Public Radio Network, Cheyna Roth was an attorney. She spent her days fighting it out in court as an assistant prosecuting attorney for Ionia County.
Related Content
Journalism at this station is made possible by donors who value local reporting. Donate today to keep stories like this one coming. It is thanks to your generosity that we can keep this content free and accessible for everyone. Thanks!