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Does Title VII Apply to Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity?
Supreme Court ruling in 2020 could have implications for a church’s hiring and firing decisions.

Three cases argued last month before the United States Supreme Court raise a key employment question that may significantly affect the way churches approach future hiring, firing, compensation, and benefits decisions involving nonministerial employees.

Though a ruling is not expected until the Supreme Court’s current term ends in the spring of 2020, legal experts say congregations with theologically conservative views of human sexuality should note the situation and contemplate taking several steps now to protect those positions.

At issue before the Supreme Court: How the term sex should be interpreted under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The federal law prohibits employers with 15 or more workers from discriminating against people based on their race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, the latter term long-assumed to mean biological gender (male or female).

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Posted: November 7, 2019

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