Michaela Jae Rodriguez
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Utah Atty. General Signs Brief Supporting Anti-LGBTQ Discrimination


Utah's Republican attorney general, Sean Reyes, joined other conservative AGs in signing an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to allow workplace discrimination against LGBTQ people.

(RELATED: Gay Utah GOP Leader Says Too Much Sex Drives LGBTQ People to Suicide)

The brief is now signed by the attorneys general of over a dozen states and relates specifically to a Michigan case where a woman was fired from a funeral home after she transitioned. After Aimee Stephens's suit against her former employer was dismissed, she found success earlier this year when she appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. The three-judge panel ruled that not only is discrimination against trans people sex discrimination, but the federal "religious freedom" act does not provide an exemption in this case.

Immediately, the anti-LGBTQ group Alliance Defending Freedom got involved and petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case; the group's hope is that the justices rules that LGBTQ people are not protected under already existing federal protections against sex discrimination, specifically Title VII. President Obama's Department of Justice urged courts to protect LGBTQ people under already existing sex discrimination statutes. Donald Trump and his attorney general, rabidly antigay Jeff Sessions, have done the opposite.

Utah's Reyes was criticized for joining states like Alabama, Oklahoma, and Nebraska that are urging the Republican-leaning SCOTUS to codify anti-LGBTQ discrimination. The move was all the more glaring considering that, in 2015, Utah enacted protections against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Attempting to defend his actions, Reyes presented an argument commonly used by conservatives against same-sex marriage: "The role of American courts is not to redefine the law. When laws need to be amended to include a broader definition, that responsibility belongs to the appropriate legislative body, not the courts."

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