A federal court ruled Wednesday a funeral home could not fire a transgender person because doing so displays discrimination based on gender identity.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled the Harris Funeral Homes owner discriminated against transgender employee Aimee Stephens when he fired Stephens in 2013.
“Discrimination against employees, either because of their failure to conform to sex stereotypes or their transgender and transitioning status, is illegal under Title VII,” the three appellate case ruling judges wrote in their decision, according to Michigan Radio.
Michigan resident Aimee Stephens sent his boss, Thomas Rost, a letter in 2013 explaining he felt he had been born in the wrong body and was really a woman, according to WXYZ Detroit.
Stephens said he was going to start dressing as a woman and wanted Rost to be aware of the upcoming changes.
Stephens sued on grounds of discrimination after Rost fired him, but a lower court ruled against him.
Rost acknowledged he indeed fired Aimee because his religious beliefs didn’t allow him to feel comfortable with a transgender employee directing his funeral home business.
Rost said it was his religious freedom and right as a business owner to let go an employee he deemed unfit.