This fall, the U.S. Supreme Court takes up R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC. The case includes the contours of Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment. However, it could have extensive implications for ladies and girls who participate in competitive sports activities. The specific dispute before the excessive court docket arose in 2013, while a funeral domestic worker called Anthony Stephens told the organization’s proprietor that, after scheduled break day, he might go back to paintings as Aimee Stephens and use lady pronouns. The owner of the funeral domestic decided to terminate his expert relationship with Stephens.
Stephens sued, alleging that the funeral domestic violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition on sex-based discrimination. A lower courtroom, to begin with, held that Stephens couldn’t sue on the idea of transgender fame because the statute no longer picks out transgender fame or gender identification as a protected elegance. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed, retaining that the worker’s selection to hearth Stephens turned into “because of intercourse” and, consequently, illegal. The Supreme Court is scheduled to pay attention to oral arguments in the case in October.
An Unintended Consequence?
As an enterprise committed to equal possibility, Independent Women’s Forum is concerned that any ruling expanding the statutory meaning of “intercourse” to include transgender popularity may have the accidental result of decreasing possibilities for female athletes. IWF’s Center for Law and Liberty has, consequently, filed a friend-of-the-court short in assisting the company. When Congress passed Title VII in 1964, it banned employers from treating a man or woman less favorably than further situated individuals of alternative organic intercourse. Congress did not deal with discrimination because of an individual’s gender identity or transgender repute.
Eight years later, Congress enacted Title IX to limit intercourse discrimination in education. Title IX has been instrumental in increasing athletic opportunities for girls and girls. The explosion in women’s sports because 1972 is due, at the least in element, to the law’s requirement that faculties provide the same opportunities for male and girl athletes to play sports. Because courts normally interpret similar language in Title IX the identical way as Title VII, a ruling that translates the employment statute broadly to encompass transgender popularity and/or gender identity will apply now not most effective to employment, however additionally to schooling, consisting of athletics.
Such an interpretation will mandate unrestricted participation in women’s sports by male-to-female transgender athletes and will, inevitably, lessen the wide variety of possibilities for biological ladies and ladies. That is because people born male are, on average, physiologically stronger, bigger, and faster than that born woman. If athletes born male are allowed to compete in ladies’ groups and girls’ divisions of game, there will, quite simply, be fewer roster spots for biological women and fewer possibilities for biological ladies to win competitions and secure scholarships.
In the longer term, a ruling deciphering “intercourse” to encompass gender identification will undermine the legal justification for keeping any intercourse-unique athletic teams in any respect and could, logically, result in the elimination of ladies sports altogether. Indeed, some activists desire just this type of result, arguing that intercourse is a social assemble and that sex segregation in recreation is inherently unjust and must be unlawful. But is there any doubt that without intercourse-unique recreation, the majority of athletic possibilities could go to men? Title IX changed into now not handed to reap this sort of result.
Transgender participation in competitive athletics provides complicated troubles that aren’t without problems resolved with the aid of blunt, one-length-fits-all judicial decrees. But, if the Supreme Court translates federal anti-discrimination regulation to restrict differences on the basis of transgender status, it will impose simply one of this decree—without attention of context or condition—on companies, faculties, and athletic associations across the complete united states of America. Policymaking bodies, not the courts, are excellently suitable to address complicated social troubles; in the U.S. Congress, such deliberations are, in truth, ongoing. The Supreme Court must no longer interfere with the deliberative, democratic method and hazard disposing of athletic opportunities for women and ladies.