Feds say transgender workers illegally fired


DETROIT (AP) - The federal government is accusing a Michigan funeral home and a Florida eye clinic of illegally firing transgender employees.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed lawsuits Thursday against Harris Funeral Homes of Garden City, Michigan, and Lakeland Eye Clinic of Lakeland, Florida.

The EEOC says embalmer Amiee Stephens was fired a year ago after telling her boss that she was transitioning from male to female.

The EEOC also says Brandi Branson was fired in 2011 as director of hearing services at Lakeland Eye in Florida in after saying she was undergoing a gender transition to female.

Messages seeking comment from the funeral home and the clinic weren’t immediately returned.

The EEOC says it’s the first time it has filed lawsuits alleging sex discrimination against people who are transgender.



There, I fixed it.

That said, unless it was a funeral home directly tied to a religious institute, I don’t know if I can legally support this. I support their right to hire and fire as they see fit, but unfortunately the man who was fired might have a legal case.


It’s sad that we are now coddling, protecting, and encouraging mental illness.


??? Really? Seems like an unfortunate choice of words.

Whether this is an issue of mental health is neither here nor there, but for the sake of argument let’s say it is.

Do you really think its inappropriate to protect the mentally ill?

I think Christ would have a different take on it.:shrug:


Christ would most likely tell them that they were born male or female and to stay that way.



It’s not like the only options are indulging a person or alienating them.


Yes but the Lord had the ability to heal their underlying problems. Trans people often suffer from extreme depression, anxiety, and other issues. I don’t think a stern pep talk from a concerned Christian is going to solve their problems. Our breath might be more effectively directed in prayer for them.


I don’t quite see how depriving them of their livelihood is going to help.


Yes. This is gender confusion from my perspective.


I didn’t say anything about protecting the mentally ill. I said we were protecting and encouraging mental illness. Those aren’t the same things.


Forcing a business to continue to hire a mentally ill person, especially while that mental illness is publicly displayed, doesn’t help the business. In fact it can have quite harmful effects. There are more jobs on the line than just this one.


That is exactly what transgendered people claim. They are not saying that gender is something that can change on a whim. They say they were born a man/woman but with the body of a woman/man. Why is it so plausable that the body is right and the mind is wrong but it’s inconceivable that the mind is right and the body is wrong? The body get’s things messed up all the time.


Well a lot of mentally ill folks are employable, and those that are, are protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. So it comes down to whether or not the individual is healthy enough. If their employment is going to impose undue burdens on the employer, whether in costs or as a matter of safety, then their employment shouldn’t be forced on a business owner.


Non-thinking organs can’t be right or wrong, they can only be healthy or unhealthy. And that’s determined by looking at whether they function as they should, if they have cancerous growths or various pathogens, etc.

From the standpoint of the brain, the genitals are “wrong”. But what the brain feels is by no means necessarily objectively true. Case in point, body dysmorphic disorder. A lot of people are quick to distinguish gender identity disorder as being different, but I have yet to see any meaningful differences for purposes of these discussions.


One thing to keep in mind is that the people with this disorder are much happier and healthier after the surgury. Suicide and self mutilation are a risk if it’s not treated. Since the treatment works I’m more apt to belive that the body is wrong. I’m hoping there’s more scientific evidence in the future. If it’s shown to be a mental illness I’ll change my opinion but I’m leaning towards it being a physical defect.

Has the Church ever made a statement about the sex reassignment surgury?



VATICAN, Jan 31, 03 (CWNews.com) – The Catholic Church cannot recognize the validity of a sex-change operation, the Vatican has declared.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has released a secret directive to bishops and religious superiors, indicating that an individual who has undergone a sex-change operation cannot be a candidate for the priesthood or religious life, and cannot enter into a valid marriage. The document also instructs pastors that they should not alter an individual’s sacramental record to change the person’s gender.
The Vatican document was released in 2000, but its existence and contents were tightly guarded until earlier this month. The directives were reportedly sent at first to papal delegates in each country, and later to the heads of episcopal conferences. Vatican officials confirmed the existence of the document after the
Catholic News Service reported on it, but the full text is not available to the public.
The Note from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith explains that an individual’s physical characteristics-- which can be altered surgically-- constitute only a part of his gender identity. While the body can be changed, the sexual identity cannot, the Congregation says.

The Vatican document indicates that if a bishop or religious superior learns that an individual has undergone a sex-change operation, “that person cannot validly be admitted into a religious institute or society of consecrated life.” The document adds that if a transsexual is now living in a religious order, “he must, for the good of souls, be expelled from the religious house.”
The Vatican document was reportedly given greater circulation after a query from an American bishop, prompted by a dispute within a religious order in his diocese.


That’s kind of confusing. What exactly are they trying to get across there? What do they mean by “sexual identity” and what is “gender identity”. I’ll assume that sexual identity refers to orientation and gender identity refers to whether a person is male or female. The physical sexual characteristics can change and only constitute part of gender identity. I can only conclude that the other part of gender identity is in the brain. So far I’m in agreement. If by sexual identity they are referring to orientation, then I and most people are in agreement that it can’t change (the only people who think it can change are a subset of radical feminists and a subset of conservative religious people). I’m very doubtful that they are referring to orientation though. So what exactly do they consider sexual identity and how does it differ from gender identity. I’m not seeing any logic that leads to a prohibition of surgery to correct this problem.

Also interesting is that they use the pronoun “he”. Does that mean that a person that goes from female to male can be a religious? Since it’s a secret document it certainly can’t apply to Catholics in general. That would be rather unfair to keep the rules and their rational secret.

Honestly though, I wish they would withhold judgement unitl they look at the science. Greek philosopy can’t answer every question, especially questions that are medical in nature.


This comment is a bit ironic, as with it you are assuming their decision didn’t involve consultation of scientists or doctors. The Vatican consults the worlds top medical ethicists regularly, I think its very unlikely to assume they didn’t here.

Further, what information might they not have that could change their decision? Can you give an example of a finding that would make “sexual reassignment” permissible?


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