An Alaska librarian who, as a state employee, is demanding the state subsidize his sex-change surgery was handed a major victory earlier this month when a federal judge ruled that the lack of insurance coverage for the procedure constitutes discrimination.
“Jennifer” Fletcher, a biological male who identifies as a woman, is a state legislative librarian in Juneau. He told Alaska Public Media that he has had to spend thousands of dollars on sex-reassignment treatments because they aren’t covered by the state’s health insurance plan.
Fletcher, represented by the pro-LGBT legal aid group Lambda Legal, sued the state on the grounds that the coverage exclusion violates the federal ban on discrimination on the basis of sex in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Although the state argued that the procedures in question would not have been covered for men or women, U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel ultimately sided with Fletcher and Lambda Legal.
According to Alaska Public Media, Fletcher praised the decision, saying “she” hopes it will keep other people “like me from having to face these same struggles, from being harmed by being singled out for discriminatory treatment. I hope it will make their lives easier.”
According to LifeSiteNews, Russel’s decision could be appealed, but the dispute will more likely be resolved by a case already before the U.S. Supreme Court that consolidates several similar controversies from around the country and hinges on the meaning of the 1964 law.
The text of Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin,” but Lambda’s case takes for granted that “sex” is synonymous with “sexual orientation” or “gender identity.”
“The meaning of ‘sex’ depends on the term’s public meaning in 1964, the year Congress enacted Title VII,” Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) senior counsel John Bursch argued, according to The National Review. “There is little dispute that, in 1964, the term ‘sex’ was publicly understood, as it is now, to mean biological sex: male and female. After all, the term ‘gender identity’ wasn’t even part of the American lexicon at the time. Its first use was at a European medical conference in 1963. And no semblance of it appeared in federal law until 1990.”
LifeSite concludes that such a victory handed to the LGBT movement would “go far beyond protecting homosexual or transgender Americans from tangible harm” and could easily be used to “force churches to recognize same-sex ‘marriages’; photographers, florists, and bakers to participate in same-sex ‘weddings’; and women and girls to share sleeping quarters, showers, changing areas, and restrooms with gender-confused males (or men claiming trans status to get easy access to vulnerable women).”
This is a case to keep an eye on. It has the potential to set a very dangerous legal precedent.
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