1AP’s 3 Things to Know—Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital
After losing in the 11th Circuit, Jameka Evans, a lesbian who alleges that she was fired from her job as a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital, has petitioned the Supreme Court to hear her case.
- What’s the argument? Evans argues that Title VII’s ban on employment discrimination on the basis of sex includes discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The 11th Circuit judges disagreed, but the 7th Circuit ruled in favor of an employee in a similar situation. This circuit split means that SCOTUS is more likely to take the case.
- What’s at stake? If SCOTUS grants cert and rules in favor of Evans, the entire U.S. will have a sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) law in the federal employment context. This interpretation of the word “sex” in one nondiscrimination context would quickly be adopted elsewhere. This SOGI would have no religious freedom exemption or accommodation, save for re-litigating each issue under the federal RFRA. This would affect higher and K-12 education, healthcare, employment, housing, and public accommodations laws.
- What comes next? Briefs are being filed, and we’ll know more this fall. If SCOTUS grants cert, the oral arguments will likely be scheduled for the Spring 2018 term. In the meantime, we support a legislative solution that ensures robust religious freedom protections for individuals and groups that would be affected if Evans wins.
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