Commonwealth Policy Center

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in an important case that will impact our collective understanding of gender, gender identity and the rights of private business owners. The case is Harris Funeral Homes v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and it involves a male funeral home employee who began dressing and identifying as a woman. This violated the funeral home’s dress policy. Now the man claims the funeral home violated federal civil rights law that banned discrimination based on sex. But is cross dressing and identifying with the opposite sex really sex discrimination? The funeral home owners say no. In fact, they put the rights of the grieving families above the rights of the man’s perceived gender identity. If the court gets it wrong, the implications will be far reaching.