In a substantial legal challenge, which has been called “bigger than gay marriage,” the U.S. Supreme Court will be hearing two hours of argument tomorrow relating to three different lawsuits. The cases surround claims of alleged sex discrimination in the workplace, which will result in a final determination by the country’s highest court on whether or not people who identify as “gay” or “transgender” are protected under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from being fired.
During Tuesday’s hearing, three cases, which are Altitude Express v. Zarda, Bostock v. Clayton County, and R.G. & J.R. Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, will be heard by the justices with the exception of Clarence Thomas, one of the most conservative justices, who has fallen ill. The first two cases involve men in New York and Georgia who claim they were fired from their jobs (as a skydiving instructor and county child welfare services coordinator, respectively) for being homosexual. The third involves a funeral home director in Michigan who was born biologically male, but now dresses as a woman, considering himself “transgender.” The funeral home that employed him would not allow him to dress as a woman at the workplace, and he was eventually fired for the behavior.
A ruling in favor of the employees in these three cases would mean a massive realignment of the classifications protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which for most of its existence was not interpreted to include those protections, and most certainly was not intended
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