June could be a culture-shifting month as the U.S. Supreme Court will issue rulings in several major cases that have the potential to redefine American values as we know them. Here is what you need to know about five key cases.
Should a business owner be forced to violate his or her deeply held beliefs to accommodate the ever-changing sexual ethics of society? In Harris Funeral Home v Equal Employment Opportunity Commission the court will decide if the word sex can now mean gender choice under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. If the court redefines the term “sex,” it would have far reaching consequences for religious freedom and girls and women in a broad range of issues.
Harris Funeral Homes has the delicate task of serving grieving families in the midst of loss. Tom Rost had that in mind when a male employee of six years decided to start living as a woman and insisted on dressing as one at work. Tom held the employee to the dress code he agreed to at time of hire, and was promptly sued. Our friends at Alliance Defending Freedom are representing Tom, owner of Harris Funeral Home.
The EEOC argues Title VII’s prohibition of discrimination based on “sex” includes one’s gender identity, even though gender identity wasn’t even a consideration in the 60s when the Civil Rights Act was passed by Congress. Now, the EEOC and activists want the U.S. Supreme Court to read that into the law and legislate from the bench in an effort to further their agenda.
CAP filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief making a case against the court unilaterally redefining the term “sex.”
A ruling in favor of the EEOC could effectively elevate sexual orientation and gender identity above religious freedom rights throughout the country. Like many sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) laws, this would deny Americans the right to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs if those beliefs hold to the biological fact of two genders.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM II
Who should decide qualifications for staff at religious schools? The school? Government? The answer could come in the decision made in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, St. James School v. Biel a pair of cases challenging the “ministerial exception” of employment discrimination laws.
The decision could effect whether religious schools will have the freedom to hire only teachers who share their faith and abide by the school’s religious convictions – or if the government can force religious schools to hire teachers who do not adhere to the school’s faith.
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM III
Should the government be able to force the Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious organizations to cover contraception and abortion inducing drugs against their convictions in their health insurance? Yes, the Little Sisters of the Poor already won a case in the U.S. Supreme Court, but they are back fighting for their rights of conscience in Little Sisters of the Poor and Paul Home v Pennsylvania .
The outcome could determine if religious institutions outside of churches still have the right to live and work according to their deeply held beliefs.
RELIGIOUS AND EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide if states can discriminate against religious options in scholarship programs in the case, Espinoza v Montana Department of Revenue . Montana’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s scholarship tax-credit program because some of the children receiving scholarships attended religious schools.
Montana’s Supreme Court made the decision based on the Blaine Amendment in Montana’s Constitution. The ruling in Espinoza could deem Blaine Amendments in states throughout the country unconstitutional, or it could encourage religious discrimination based on those amendments.
Blaine Amendments prohibit public funds going to religious institutions, but some states have used them to exclude religious schools from generally available and religiously neutral student aide programs.
The Institute for Justice explains Blaine Amendments are rooted in anti-Catholic bigotry.
Justices will decide if states can require abortionists to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals in case of an emergency during an abortion procedure. June Medical Services LLC v Russo challenges Whole Woman’s Health v Hellerstedt and addresses the question of whether a third party has standing to sue on behalf of the rights of others.
The outcome of June Medical could impact Arizona law requiring doctors who perform surgical abortions to have admitting privileges in a hospital within 30 miles from the clinic. It also requires doctors who prescribe medication abortions to have admitting privileges in a hospital within the state.
- Breakpoint summarizes recently released videos showing Planned Parenthood employees admitting under oath selling aborted baby body parts.
- Senator Marco Rubio has an interesting take on the recent racial injustice and what we all can be doing to help heal the divide.
- Read a thoughtful essay on the tragedy of “transgender” surgery being labeled “essential” even for teens.
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