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USCCB: Supreme Court has ‘redefined’ the meaning of ‘sex’

“This is an injustice that will have implications in many areas of life,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in a June 15 statement.

(CNS photo/Tyler Orsburn)

CNA Staff, Jun 15, 2020 / 05:43 pm (CNA).- The president of the U.S. bishops’ conference on Monday lamented the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in a case that considered whether federal civil rights law considers sexual identity and gender identity to be covered by laws prohibiting employment discrimination based upon sex.

“I am deeply concerned that the U.S. Supreme Court has effectively redefined the legal meaning of ‘sex’ in our nation’s civil rights law. This is an injustice that will have implications in many areas of life,” Archbishop Jose Gomez said in a June 15 statement.

The Supreme Court ruled June 15 that employers cannot fire workers because of their sexual orientation or self-determined gender identity, even while dissenting justices opined the Court was legislating from the bench.

The decision considered a trio of discrimination cases before the Court, two of which involved employees who said they were fired because of their sexual orientation in Bostock v. Clayton County and Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda.

A third case, Harris Funeral Homes, Inc. v. EEOC, involved a man who lost his job at a Michigan funeral home after he had gender-transition surgery and returned to work dressed as a woman; the funeral home had sex-specific dress code policies for employees.

The question at issue was whether or not protections against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act also applied to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

On Monday, the Court’s majority ruled that “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.

In November, the U.S. bishops’ conference had asked the Court not to extend Title VII protections to sexual orientation and gender identity, because to do so would “redefine a fundamental element of humanity.”

“Words matter,” the statement from leading U.S. bishops said. “‘Sex’ should not be redefined to include sexual inclinations or conduct, nor to promulgate the view that sexual identity is solely a social construct rather than a natural or biological fact.”

Gomez echoed that sentiment on Monday.

“By erasing the beautiful differences and complementary relationship between man and woman, we ignore the glory of God’s creation and harm the human family, the first building block of society. Our sex, whether we are male or female, is part of God’s plan for creation and for our lives. As Pope Francis has taught with such sensitivity, to live in the truth with God’s intended gifts in our lives requires that we receive our bodily and sexual identity with gratitude from our Creator. No one can find true happiness by pursuing a path that is contrary to God’s plan,” the archbishop said.

“Every human person is made in the image and likeness of God and, without exception, must be treated with dignity, compassion, and respect. Protecting our neighbors from unjust discrimination does not require redefining human nature.”

Critics of the Court’s decision have argued that, in addition to reinforcing the transgender ideology, they could undermine the religious liberty of religious employers and business owners.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, writing for the Court’s majority, acknowledged religious freedom concerns for employers in the Court’s decision. Religious organizations and employers do have certain protections from discrimination lawsuits under the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), his decision said.

However, the religious freedom question would be a matter of future consideration since “none of the employers before us today represent in this Court that compliance with Title VII will infringe their own religious liberties in any way,” Gorsuch wrote.


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51 Comments

  1. ““An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII.”

    And also the law of love? Worth a discussion.

    • Possibly, although it is a bit manipulative to frame the discussion around “love.” But would you be comfortable allowing gay and transgendered people to work at the day care center where your kids are spending most of their day?

      • You have to be cautious, and surrender political correctness. A huge percentage of sexual abuse was gay clergy. P.Francis refuses to call them out.. to his peril, as the Church is diminishing. It seems the Pope is afraid to insult. and he has ignored the horrors of gay predation, which lies in the hearts of the faithful, despite the Pope tryhing to ignore it. The Church’s credibility is very low right now.. how could it not be? some 20 000 victims of gay clergy> ? We shouldn’t be very cautious. HOw long is the game going to go on?

    • Its more a case that their being gay and trans violates our personal feelings about right and wrong and the pain those uncorrected errors cause us. These feelings may or may not have a religious basis.

  2. *We* identify not as the one woman you may see when you look at *us*, but rather as nine people; specifically, *we* identify as the nine members of the Supreme Court, and *we* hereby overturn the judgment in this case and *we* insist that the justices of the Supreme Court accept, and cater to, *our* claim about who and what *we* are.

    That makes just as much sense as this utterly moronic decision, not to mention the previous one about how everybody should be able to “define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.””

    I’m left sadly contemplating the fact that a majority of the Supreme Court justices are evil or stupid or both.

    • They are both stupid and evil. May God vindicate His law and His justice against these faithless, evil, corrupt, and incompetent barbarians who are destroying this country.

      • Evil, yes. Stupid, no.
        It takes lots of intelligence and premeditation for someone like Gorsuch to pretend to be a conservative all his life, only to turn to show true colors once seated in the position of power. Either that, or we have to assume that GOP leadership is either stupid and not capable to vetting candidates properly, or just as left oriented as their democrat counterparts and only playing a bad cop-good cop game with the sheeple…

  3. Good for the Supreme Court!

    Justice, and Roman Catholic ‘hierarchs’, just don’t, and really never have, complemented each other.

    It is a shame that a secular institution has to teach so-called ‘men of God’ what should morally be in inter-human relations.

    I’m a Catholic, by the way.

  4. Despite some short-comings, the Bishops are indeed, “men of God.” As
    men of God, they are obliged by Almighty God Himself to teach the Truth as defined by the Bible and the sacred Tradition of the Church. Many don’t want to hear that, but that’s the ultimate reality. The only thing the Supreme “taught” these “hierarchs” is that they will need to rise to the occasion of this threat to truth and faith. I am confident that eventually they will! With that said, I refuse to debate it further.

    • The Bishops are men of God and they need only Christ to lead and teach them–not the SCOTUS. As this unfolds, the Bishops will rise satisfactorily to the occasion. Don’t mistake their moderation and charity for weakness. It’s been this way throughout the Church’s history!

      • O.k., Fr. Poblocki, don’t debate. And don’t respond to questions. You’ll make a good bishop yourself. I would like to say that it is difficult to observe the fecklessness or downright apostasy of many bishops. PF seems to appoint one after another who appalls on a regular basis…no need to name names, just let your most recent miscreant come to mind. Some like to beg militant homosexuals to forgive the Church for being so judgmental and hypocritical and to tell them that only they can teach said hypocrites how to love. They grow their bureaucracy with donations from the faithful plus a grant or two from the government. They send a lot of that to The dissident CRS who funnel it to others in Africa for contraception, abortion, and sinful sex “education”. It is sickening. Jesus had a few choice words for wolves in sheep’s clothing.

  5. In the dialog between Eve and the serpent in the Garden of Eden, the serpent said that if Eve ate of the forbidden fruit that she could decree her own autonomous morality. Moral relativism is the heart and soul of Original Sin.
    *
    From what I’ve read about the recent Supreme Court decisions in this area they are completely compatible with the values of Original Sin.

    • So, if I decide I am really a cat trapped in a human body, everyone must accept that and treat me accordingly or can my personal decisions about gender be the only ones protected? By the way, the Catholic Church, not you, determines what is Catholic.

      • Your reply is very unclear as to what point are you trying to make.
        *
        When Adam and Eve took the forbidden fruit, fruit that did not belong to them, they were treating the things that are God’s as if they were something that they could do with as they pleased. Adam and Eve were the world’s first looters. Their decision was based on their personal desires. They gave into the temptation offered up by the serpent. The forbidden fruit was a loyalty test. Did Adam and Eve love God or did they only love His gifts? In essence all temptations are loyalty tests where we can prove our love of God through obedience. In eating of the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve chose their desires over God. They showed no signs of repentance for what they had done and refused to accept any personal responsibility for their acts.
        *
        Their son Cain took this to the next level. He not only gave deaf ears to God’s spiritual direction, he murdered his brother Abel. Murder is the ultimate form of canceling someone. He follows this up by lying to God about not knowing where Abel was, then he dumps the am I my brother’s keeper line on God. Even after God gave him a rather light punishment, the first words out of his mouth were that his punishment was more than he could bear. Cain was the world’s first snowflake. He was entirely self obsessed, and self indulgent. When I look at the words and the tactics of the alternative lifestyle pressure groups they fit fallen Adam, Eve, and their son Cain to a tee.

  6. I might be misunderstanding the court’s decision, but it’s wrong for a person to be fired from employment for being a homosexual unless there’s something about the homosexual’s behavior which degrades their work performance. My reasoning is because homosexuals have a right to eat, drink, and live due to their human dignity.

    • Notwithstanding what I just wrote, I just realized that the case turned on whether the justices could make a prior law include something which it didn’t include or cover. The old law pertained to the sex of a person: not the sexual orientation of a person which is entirely different.

      It’s quite obvious that this case was wrongly decided.

    • Homosexuality is a chosen way of life with negative moral repercussions that affect social influences. There are many occupations for which a potential employer has an inherent right to protect their responsibilities from influences that they regard as damaging to the moral good of those for whom they have assumed responsibility.

      • Au contraire.. homosexuality is NOT a chosen way of life. Who wants to be ostracized from family, work, church, ball games, school, etc? Even your own family? Contrary to medical experts some of us are born with feminine characteristics. I was. I have suffered all my life as a male because of inheriting more of my mother’s gene than my father’s. I have taken testosterone for 50 years to be more a man…..but I still desire a man….for companionship, for sex, I was born this way. God did this. Why?

        • Nonsense. People choose their behavior. You inherited half of your DNA from your father and half from your mother, just like every other person on the planet. Blaming God is a very handy way to pretend that you have no control over your actions.

          “Who wants to be ostracized from family, work, church, ball games, school, etc? Even your own family?”

          Anybody who chooses to commit a heinous sin. That person is announcing that he loves his sin more than family, work, church, ball games, school, etc.

        • I read the Bible once or twice, or so, and I seem to remember that it says “male and female he created them. It mentions nothing about sex being fluid or changeable. But then, I’m just a country bumpkin, so maybe I missed something in the Bible. Maybe the science has an answer. Wait, that “gay gene” that was all the rage in the 90s never materialized, either, that I know of. The genome project having been completed, I don’t think there’s a mention of a chance of being “born gay” in there. Unless by gay you mean happy, that is. Every child is happy for the most part, excepting the ones who are ripped to shreds in mother’s womb for the sake of “choice.” Neither the “freedom to choose” or “born that wat” is a valid premise, though. We are born with reason and free will. Well formed reason leads us to God who is The Truth and our conscience does not allow ourselves to lose self control to a point where we can’t control our primal instincts. So, either you are the friend and follow the commands, or you are a son of the father of lies. Can have it both ways (pun intended).

  7. Justice Neil Gorsuch acknowledgement of religious freedom concerns despite his Opinion upholding equal justice for non defined sexuality was renounced with a greater argument for Justice by Archbishop Jose Gomez. Harris Funeral Homes is the case that supports Gorsuch’s “concerns”. The Supreme Court by its decision knowingly strengthened the legal right for same sex, transvestite, trans sex all the myriad sexual aberrations that continue to enfold to prevent religious institutions from not simply dismissing but from refusing to hire. Like Masterpiece Cakeshop that narrowly won their case, the Little Sisters of the Poor who recently won their after years of litigation Title VII is now weakened. The driving force is the growing acceptance that Liberty must be protected counter any other conceivable natural right. It’s the sinful error of conscience evident in Amoris Laetitia now accepted by Christian including Catholic jurists and politicians that instead dilutes justice. Justice is what’s rightfully due to others. Archbishop Gomez correctly addresses the issue of Justice necessarily inclusive and determined by divinely affirmed Natural Law inherent in the conscience of every person. For example there is no right to murder infants in the womb, after birth, as there is no right for a person to deviate from heterosexuality and demand society acquiesce and award with complete legal latitude a right to pervade their moral abomination.

    • Attached to a religious right to refuse homosexuals is the frequently held opinion that it’s unjust to dismiss an employee because they’re homosexual. A religious institution represents what that religion believes. Now there are persons who have same sex attraction who are often called homosexual, who don’t advertise their preference, or practice it, and live saintly lives. Such are not the issue. Unfortunately most who openly identify as homosexual behave as homosexuals. They cannot be employed as representative of that institution whose religious moral standards are diametrically contrary. It would be unjust to force such institutions to hire them or retain them if they behave as homosexuals.

    • we virtually NEVER hear this stuff at the pulpit. NEver. Seems like sin, formication, adultery are things of the past. The sense of sin has gone from the Catholic Church. That was our claim to save, to heal, to convert, to yearn for eternal salvation. We have a huge crisis of faith in the Church.. you never hear it. I have 2 graduate degrees in Catholic theology.. am stunned by what is never mentioned. It’s be nice. That’s the reason for the Incarnation? We have a crisis of faith. Little Catholicism is recognizable. ARch Gregory’s ‘reprehensible’ comment doesn’t help… few people are on his side. He scorned the most pro life president ever, the greatest protector of religious freedom ever. I sometimes think Trump is doing more for faith than the Bishops and clergy. Sad to say. Real Catholicism has not been taught or preached for decades, Fulton Sheen referred to that reality decades ago. It’s gotten worse. If ther is no sin, then the moral life falls apart and so does the spiritual. In todays Church, do as you please, the revelation of God has not been getting through for decades. Pope Benedict also commented on this lack of faith, on believing the whole thing… ?

      • Paul your sentiments are correct. We no longer preach “Repentance for the forgiveness of sins”, Christ’s final commandment to the Apostles at the Ascension. Instead it’s merciful love and acceptance, the doctrine of Amoris Laetitia the new gospel. Instead it’s accommodation of sin rather than conversion to Christ. Stand fast in your faith Christ is with us.

  8. When you think about it 90 years is a long time and people are bound to be bored of themselves. Let’s continue to pray like St. Monica that some of these confused individuals find out that the hole in their heart can only be filled with the Love of Jesus Christ.

  9. Given that the Supreme Court is NOT a legislature, its erroneous opinions mentioned above should be ignored. In this case, I seem to be a voice crying out in the wilderness. The US population is so ignorant.

    That said, it is doubtful whether according to the natural law one could justly fire someone for being a homosexual, or a self-mutilating (transsexual) person. If one wants to engage in sodomy (or fornication) in the workplace, then he certainly should be fired for that.

    If there is a dress code based on sex, and he who “identifies as” a sex different from his birth certificate violates it, then he should be fired.

  10. You might be catholic but not necessarily christian..you are missing the big picture from God’s point of view

  11. Truly mind boggling! The world is struggling with the deadly coronavirus pandemic, North Korea bombing South Korea and the US swamped in mass country wide demonstrations because police are killing black males on an increasing scale. How awful when with all the seriously epidemic natural and man made disasters, the powers to be are dabbling in human sexuality.Even more astounding is the compartmentalization of the church hierarchy caving to the president’s myriad of immoral episodes diametrically in opposition to Catholic tenets.

    Pope Francis said “who am I to judge homosexuals”. SCOTUS may have broken the string, but who are they to decide? There are only humans.

    I am a humanist. A holistic interpretation of man and his destiny. What is wrong with a law that holds proprietors in violation to dismiss a person not for cause, but their sexuality? My realism is at odds with my faith. I remember some years ago a young man in the south, and thought to be Gay, was accosted by two rednecks who beat him and tied his limp body to the rear of their truck. They dragged the boy for miles. Then when they were finished they took his emaciated body and tied it to a fence. They were never arrested. But, that murder was only the tip of the melting iceberg. Our loving Lord Jesus warned us as he bent to help the prostitute… ““Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.”

    • “police are killing black males on an increasing scale. ”

      No, they’re not. The trend is, in fact, downward. https://mappingpoliceviolence.org/nationaltrends

      “Even more astounding is the compartmentalization of the church hierarchy caving to the president’s myriad of immoral episodes diametrically in opposition to Catholic tenets.”

      To what “immoral episodes” are you referring? And how does one “cave to an episode,” anyway?

      “My realism is at odds with my faith. I remember some years ago a young man in the south, and thought to be Gay, was accosted by two rednecks who beat him and tied his limp body to the rear of their truck. They dragged the boy for miles. Then when they were finished they took his emaciated body and tied it to a fence. They were never arrested.”

      In what way does the terrible behavior of those men set you at odds with your faith (presuming that you’re claiming to be Catholic today)? The Faith had nothing to do with that killing, unless you’re claiming that those “rednecks” were priests in red vestments; and even then it would have been individual sins, not a failure of the Church.

      “Our loving Lord Jesus warned us as he bent to help the prostitute… ““Let him who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.””

      And then He told her to go, and sin no more; not “Go, do whatever you want, everything’s fine.”

    • Your realism is not at odds with your “faith.” If you endorse behaviors that are expressly and unequivocally condemned by the clear teaching of scripture, then you do not belong to Christ or his church. “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” Once again, your TDS and self-righteousness are blinding you to your own need to repent.

      “Unless you repent, you will likewise perish.”

  12. Referring to a man as a “woman” just because he had surgery and wears a dress is as absurd as referring to Ralph Northam as an “African-American” just because he put on blackface.

  13. Gosh, it’s almost like conceding to 9 unelected officials the intoxicating power to micromanage the lives of 300+ million people was a bad idea.

  14. The flip side of this ruling is that all affirmative-action and diversity-based hiring and promotion policies should now be considered unconstitutional. If an employer may not discriminate on the basis of sex (or race or the other protected categories) in making a decision to fire, neither may the employer discriminate on the basis of those characteristics in hiring or promotions. If you hire or promote someone because she is a woman, then you are discriminating illegally because you are hiring or promoting someone you wouldn’t if that person were a man. If you hire or promote someone because he is of a certain skin color, then you are discriminating illegally because you are treating that person differently than you would if his skin color was different. Someone should sue all the way to the Supreme Court challenging equity, diversity and inclusion policies in employers and use this recent Supreme Court ruling as the basis for arguing that all hiring policies that show preferences on the basis of sex or race are illegal because they violate the plain meaning of the statute.

  15. Is Catholicism a religion of separation? No. Is it a religion of isolation, (walls)? No. Is our faith a proponent of degradation? No. However, is the church willing to “allow” Gays to exit the Catholic isolation closet? I’m not sure. “Don’t ask, don’t tell”. Trump to Mattis, “remove all LGBTQ’s from the military”. Mattis found the majority were dedicated soldiers. He took NO action. Who displayed empathy? It ain’t hard. A man of the cloth said “Gay lifestyle implies Gay cohabitation. I would offer that his remarks paint with the broadest brush. Please excuse me, my humanist fetish overcomes me. “Everyone is born with equal rights”. Maybe!

    • The Church is also not willing to “allow” murderers or those who oppress the poor to exit the Catholic isolation closet and claim that their sins, rather than being sins, are just peachy keen because that’s the way they were made and they should not be expected to control their inclination to evil.

      I’m not interested in having the military display “empathy” to the mentally ill and the perverted.

      Anyone who is claiming a “gay lifestyle” (and why you persist in capitalizing the word “gay” is beyond me) is almost certainly doing so because he is practicing homosexuality, because that is what the “gay lifestyle” is.

      “Humanist fetish,” huh? Fetish: “an object of irrational reverence or obsessive devotion.” Yeah, I’d say you got the word right.

      ““Everyone is born with equal rights”.”

      Nobody was born with the right to do wrong.

    • Our OWN closets, or the Sacristy, where over 80% of the “child molesters” were in fact homosexuals predators abusing postpubescent boys.

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