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AU And Allies: Michigan Funeral Home Can’t Use Religion To Justify Discrimination Against Transgender Employee

Aimee Stephens worked for six years at a Detroit funeral home. Then, she came out as transgender and announced that she would begin to live publicly as a woman, which would include dressing consistent with her gender identity.

Two weeks later, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes fired her. Why? The funeral-home owner said Aimee’s behavior contradicted his religious beliefs.

Americans United And Allies File Legal Brief In Support Of Transgender Woman Fired By Michigan Funeral Home

Religious-Liberty Organizations And Faith Leaders Argue Business Owner Can’t Cite Religious Beliefs To Justify Discrimination

Americans United for Separation of Church and State was joined by 76 faith leaders and 13 religious and civil-rights organizations in urging a federal appeals court to rule that a Michigan funeral home had violated a transgender employee’s civil rights when it fired her for wearing women’s clothing in accordance with her gender identity.

Remembering Important African-American Figures Who Advocated For Religious Freedom

February marks Black History Month, and our nation’s troubled history of race relations and struggles with racism often overlooks the significant accomplishments that people of color have made to advance our country and society.

Those accomplishments include fighting for religious freedom. When the U.S. Constitution was written, the rights prescribed applied to white men, while African-Americans, women and other marginalized groups later had to fight to amend the constitution for explicit inclusion.

Detached From Reality: Religious Right Claims Charleston Massacre Is Proof Of Anti-Christian Bias

On June 17, Dylann Storm Roof walked into Charleston, S.C.’s Mother Emanuel AME Church. He sat there for an hour – quietly, by all accounts – and pulled out a handgun and opened fire. State Sen. Clementa Pinckney (D-Beaufort), Sharonda Singleton, Myra Thompson, Tywanza Sanders, Ethel Lance, Cynthia Hurd, Daniel Simmons, DePayne Middleton-Doctor and Susie Jackson are dead.  

They are dead because Dylann Roof hated black people.

Light Bulb Moment: Religious Discrimination Is Illegal

Let’s say you went down to the local widget factory and applied for a supervisor’s job. You’re experienced and have in fact supervised widget factories in the past. But during the interview, you’re quizzed about your religious beliefs and fail to get the job because you don’t go to church.

You would be pretty mad, right? You’d also have a federal case because religious discrimination in hiring is illegal.