The Christian owner of a Michigan funeral home has won a legal battle which allowed him to maintain the right to fire an employee who failed to comply with the funeral home’s policies.
The Christian Institute reports that Thomas Rost, a devout Christian who believes God has called him to minister to grieving families through his business, came under fire after he dismissed an employee who began dressing as a female, though the employee was biologically a male.
Rost’s funeral home has a gender-specific dress code, and since being hired in 2007, Anthony Stephens had complied with it. However, in 2013, Stephens decided to dress like a female and insisted he be called Aimee.
Rost told Stephens he was free to dress how he wished at home, but had to comply with the dress code while at work. Stephens refused, and was therefore dismissed.
The Equal Opportunity Employment Commission brought the case against Rost’s funeral home, alleging that Stephens was dismissed unfairly.
After the judge ruled that Rost had not wrongfully dismissed Stephens, Alliance Defending Freedom, the organization defending Rost, stated, “The government must respect the freedom of those who are seeking to serve the grieving and vulnerable. They shouldn’t be forced into violating their deepest convictions.”
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Publication date: August 26, 2016