Hobby Lobby-style ruling gives businesses a “free pass to discriminate” against trans people

Washington, DC, Aug. 18, 2016 — The National LGBTQ Task Force is condemning a ruling by Michigan U.S. District Judge Sean F. Cox in the case EEOC v. Harris Funeral Homes that allows religion to be used to discriminate against the transgender community.

“This ruling will put lives in danger. Like the infamous Hobby Lobby ruling, this one creates a free pass to discriminate, in this case against trans people, on the whim of a business owner. It runs against our Constitutional freedom of religion and freedom from religion. This is the first time a court found that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) can potentially be used to discriminate against LGBTQ people. The members of the trans community already face the most appalling levels of suicide (41%), homelessness (20%) and are four times more likely to be living on less than $10,000 a year. We look forward to this dangerous ruling being fundamentally overturned on appeal,” said Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán, J.D., Policy Counsel, Trans/GNC Justice Project Director, National LGBTQ Task Force.

When the U.S. Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby ruling came down, the National LGBTQ Task Force noted that it could have severe ramifications for the LGBTQ community’s hard won rights.

Jorge Amaro
Media and Public Relations Director