Universal Life Church Case Law
Phone: (614) 715-9048 Fax: (614) 715-9049
Email: info@ulccaselaw.com
ULC Case Law
1629 K Street NW, Ste 300
Washington, D.C. 20006


Missouri Supreme Court to Hear Two LGBT Cases

February 22nd, 2018


The Missouri Supreme Court is positioned to hear two LGBT rights cases that may break ground in how to interpret sex discrimination.

The Missouri Supreme Court is positioned to hear two LGBT rights cases that may break ground in how to interpret sex discrimination.

The Missouri Supreme Court is positioned to hear two LGBT rights cases. One of these cases involves a transgender teen who was denied access to appropriate facilities at a school. The second involves a gay man who claims discrimination because he did not demonstrate stereotypical masculine qualities. Both of these cases arise from the issue of whether sexual discrimination includes discrimination based on a person’s gender identity or sexual orientation.

Case of the Transgender Student

A transgender boy, who court documents identify as R.M.A., claims that his school in Blue Springs, Missouri discriminated against him by barring the boy from using the boy’s locker rooms and restrooms. The young boy, however, had changed his gender and name on his birth certificate and participated in boy’s sports teams and physical education classes. As a result, the boy initiated a discrimination lawsuit against the school in 2015. A trial court, however, dismissed the boy’s suit. In 2017, an appeals court upheld the decision and found that sex discrimination did not extend to discrimination on the basis of a person’s gender identity. Now the case is headed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Case of the Missouri Office of Administration Worker

The second case was initiated by a gay man who claimed that his employer at the Missouri Office of Administration harassed him because the man did not conform to stereotypical masculine qualities. The Missouri Commission on Human Rights dismissed the man’s complaint in 2017 on the basis that the court did not have jurisdiction over sexual orientation-based discrimination. An appeals court, however, later ruled that gender stereotyping does constitute discrimination.

What Constitutes Sex Discrimination?

Discrimination based on a person’s gender or sex is a common civil rights violation that encompasses several different acts. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 provides protection for workers who are subject to sex discrimination. The Act makes it illegal for an employer to make employment decisions based on an individual’s sex or to limit potential applications on the basis of a person’s sex. Title VII also prohibits sexual discrimination in on the job and apprentice programs as well as retaliation against workers for opposing discriminatory employment practices.

Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972 is a federal law that states that no person in the United States is capable of being excluded from or denied benefits under any education program receiving Federal assistance on the basis of sex. Title IX applies to all elements of education including course offerings, counseling, employment, financial assistance, housing, and student health insurance benefits. To comply with Title IX, an education must meet one of three tests – providing participation opportunities for men and women that are substantially proportional, demonstrating a history and continuing practice of program expansion for the underrepresented sex, and fully and effectively accommodating the interests and abilities of the underrepresented sex.

The Universal Life Church

These cases mark the first time that the Missouri Supreme Court has had to consider whether sex discrimination based on gender identity is a type of sexual discrimination. Some Federal courts in the United States have already found that sex discrimination encompasses gender identity and sexual orientation. The Justice Department also took this stance under the Obama Administration, but the Trump Administration has reversed this decision. The Universal Life Church’s blog is focused on keeping readers informed about this ever-changing legal landscape.

(image courtesy of Jan Laugesen)

Leave a Reply