Sunday 31st May 2020

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

Is There A Difference Between Sex And Gender?

May 21, 2019 Frontpage No Comments

By DEACON MIKE MANNO, JD

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was a landmark law that was passed by Congress and signed by President Lyndon Johnson. It made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. At the time those terms and their implications were well known and not subject to much debate or controversy.
In 1964 discrimination on the basis of sex was clearly understood to be discrimination against women (or men) because of their status as a woman (or man) — and, of course, it was primarily used to protect women in the workplace or academia.
Fast forward to the 2000s, and as improbable as it may have seemed to those voting on the bill in 1964, the question of what is meant by the word “sex” has baffled lawyers, social scientists, politicians, bureaucrats, and sometimes even doctors.
Now, as parts of society have unbelievably moved to accept the changeable nature of one’s sexual identity, and are thus no longer willing to accept the immutability of maleness or femaleness as established at birth, we are faced with the legal question of whether the concept of “gender” or “gender identity” is covered as a protected class as defined by the word sex in the law.
In simple words, is a cross-dresser protected? Is a transgender protected? Is someone who calls himself or herself “other” protected? Legally these questions become vexing problems in a litigious society where a new wave of progressives are attempting to use the courts, not Congress, to answer these questions. And, there may soon be an answer by the Supreme Court which will anger some, gladden others, and mystify nearly any sane person sitting on the sidelines horrified by the entire spectacle.
Most of you who read this will be familiar with some of the societal problems the transgender movement has caused, such as boys identifying as female being allowed to shower in school gym facilities with girls; a growing number of women’s sports being dominated by men identifying as women; and the list could go on.
Much of this was started by federal bureaucrats who, during the last administration, began using gender identity and sex as synonymous. Thus, if a male employee, claiming to identify as female began to wear women’s clothing to work and was disciplined, that discipline was due to sex and thus the employee was protected under the law. The same went for schoolchildren who identified with the opposite sex — if they could not use the restroom and locker faculties for the sex they identified with, they were protected.
When these cases ended up in court, it was anyone’s guess how the court would decide and, in fact, such cases reaching the federal appellate courts have produced conflicting results. Thus it’s not surprising that the Supreme Court last month agreed to hear several cases in this area to answer the question, “Is gender identity protected as sex or not?”
And, just a not so small technical legal point to consider: On several occasions Congress has had the opportunity to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include gender identity, but has declined to do so. Does that reluctance to amend then give authority to the bureaucracy or the courts to do so by interpretation?
The two cases that will be decided by the court, probably this term, are R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Altitude Express v. Zarda.
The Zarda case is one in which a gay employee sued his employer for termination due to his sexual orientation, but the facts are kind of interesting. Zarda worked as a skydiving instructor for Altitude Express. As part of his duties, he assisted students in a tandem jump in which he would be strapped hip-to-hip and shoulder-to-shoulder with the student. According to his brief, he would sometimes tell female students he was gay to put them at ease about the bodily closeness. When one of the students complained about some inappropriate touching, Zarda was fired. He sued claiming discrimination due to sexual stereotyping and sexual orientation.
A district court had dismissed most of Zarda’s claims, including that for sexual orientation discrimination as not included in the Civil Rights Act. However, the appeals court disagreed, holding that the law applies “to any practice in which sex is a motivating factor.” It added, “sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination because sexual orientation is defined by one’s sex in relation to the sex of those to whom one is attracted [and] based on assumption of stereotypes about how members of a particular should be…attracted.”
The other case, Harris Funeral Homes, may provide a clearer ruling, since Zarda is handicapped by some problems with factual findings that are not present here, and it also presents some issues that may cut a wider swath. I dealt with this case before in the November 15, 2018 edition of The Wanderer. In short, it is about a devout Christian funeral home owner who had a dress code for all his employees who worked with bereaved family members. The code was sex-specific, men had to wear suits and women had to wear dresses or skirts.
The funeral home had hired Anthony Stephens as a funeral director and during six years of his employment he presented himself as a man, and in fact all his employment records, including his mortuary science license, listed him as male. All went well until 2013 when Stephens notified his employer that he now identified as a female — and went from Anthony to Aimee — and that he intended to have sex-reassignment surgery and that to qualify he had to live, dress, and act as a woman for a year.
Thus, he told the funeral home his plan was to present himself and dress as a woman when dealing with families as part of his job. The owner then, after consulting with an attorney, told Stephens that this would not work out and offered him a financial settlement in a severance package. Stephens declined the offer.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission then took Stephens’ complaint and filed suit in federal court over his “discharge” due to “sex and gender identity.” The district court ruled in favor of the funeral home, stating that the termination “was due to [Stephens’] transgender status or gender identity [and] those are not protected classes” under the Civil Rights Act.
The appeals court saw it otherwise, ruling that employers engage in “unlawful sex stereotyping when they administer sex-specific policies according to their employees’ sex instead of their gender identity.” Thus, according to the funeral home’s brief, “The Sixth Circuit then judicially amended the word ‘sex’ in Title VII [the Civil Rights Act] to mean ‘gender identity’ and held that ‘discrimination on the basis of transgender . . . status violates Title VII’.”
This case has the potential to elicit a broad opinion from the court; however, it must be noted that in most cases courts tend to try to rule as narrowly as possible. It will be interesting to see if the court gives any deference to the funeral home’s argument that Stephens’ newfound wardrobe might be a bit too much for grieving families to bear.
On the other hand, the Zarda case might not be as sweeping since there was a dispute as to the reason for the firing, unlike the funeral home’s termination of Stephens. There’s also the fact that during the pendency of the case Mr. Zarda himself was killed in a skydiving accident and his executor was allowed to replace him as a party.
We’ll keep watching to see how these cases are decided. The ramifications for issues of gender identity could be profound.
(You can contact Mike at: DeacoMike@q.com.)

Share Button

2019 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Twitter Feed

BREAKING:

Supreme Court rules 5-4 AGAINST a California church that challenged Gavin Newsom’s unconstitutional public gathering restrictions

Why is it “legal” to burn our cities but officially illegal to go to church in CA?

John Roberts disappoints again

What a disgrace.

RT!

Minneapolis Mayor Frey, the poster boy of liberal progressive Democrat leadership literally gave one of his police stations to the looters last night.

Load More...

US bishop reverses plan to ban Communion on tongue as churches reopen

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana, May 15, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Bishop Douglas Deshotel has revised his decision to allow only reception of the Eucharist in the hand amid the coronavirus pandemic. He credited guidelines issued by the Thomistic Institute for correcting his previous…Continue Reading

Sainthood causes open for St John Paul II’s parents

A ceremony launching the causes of the Wojtyłas took place at the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Wadowice, John Paul II’s birthplace. At the ceremony, the Kraków Archdiocese officially formed the tribunals that will seek…Continue Reading

President Trump on National Day of Prayer: “Never Forget That All Things are Possible With God”

On this National Day of Prayer, Americans reaffirm that prayer guides and strengthens our Nation, and we express, with humility and gratitude, our “firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence.”  As one Nation under God, we share a legacy…Continue Reading

Coronavirus In Minnesota: Archbishop Hebda Gives Guidelines For Reopening Catholic Churches

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Archbishop Bernard Hebda, head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, says he anticipates reopening churches on May 18, which is when the state’s current stay-at-home order expires. In a letter to Catholics, he outlined strict guidelines…Continue Reading

Joe Biden Calls Killing Babies in Abortions “Essential Health Care That Cannot be Delayed”

Today, presumed Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden stated that abortions are “essential health care that cannot be delayed” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Biden’s statement was in response to a question during a virtual town hall in which pro-abortion…Continue Reading

Archbishop Viganò: Third Secret of Fatima has not yet been fully published

April 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – In a stunning new interview, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio in Washington, D.C. and the prelate who accused Pope Francis of covering up the crimes of Theodore McCarrick, has now publicly stated…Continue Reading

George Pell: In the suffering, we find redemption

Every person suffers. None escapes all the time. Everyone is confronted with a couple of questions. What should I do in this situation? Why is there so much evil and suffering? And why did this happen to me? Why the…Continue Reading

Covid-19: First Catholic bishop dies of coronavirus

Ethiopia’s Apostolic Vicar, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, has died. He is the first Catholic Bishop to succumb to the coronavirus pandemic. By Fr. Benedict Mayaki, SJ Italian missionary and Apostolic Vicar to Ethiopia’s Gambella Vicariate, Bishop Angelo Moreschi, SDB, died on…Continue Reading

Catholic church offers curbside confessions during coronavirus outbreak

STILLWATER, Minn. — Drive-thrus, curbside pick-up, contactless methods. We’re becoming best buds with terms like these as we try our best to stay home, and flatten the curve of the coronavirus outbreak. However, today, we’re not talking about food or…Continue Reading

All priests, half of seminarians at traditional Catholic order infected by coronavirus

OPFENBACH, Germany, March 20, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Almost all priests and roughly half of the seminarians currently at a German seminary of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP), a traditionalist community of priests and seminarians, have been infected by…Continue Reading

Catholic Herald US to shut down offices

The Catholic Herald’s U.S. edition is shutting down its offices in Washington, D.C., after less than two years of publication, people familiar with the matter told the Washington Examiner. The magazine, which claims to be “America’s only national Catholic weekly…Continue Reading

Middle school hangs LGBT flag in cafeteria, bans flag of traditional family

MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota, March 6, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A small town Minnesota school has become a center of controversy because of a LGBT pride flag hanging in its cafeteria. Following several weeks of parental and community concern, packed school board meetings, and…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Supreme Court rejects challenge to limits on church services; Roberts sides with liberals

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal by a California church that challenged state limits on attendance at worship services that have been imposed to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Over the dissent of the four more conservative justices, Chief Justice John Roberts joined the court’s four liberals in turning away a request from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California, in the San Diego area.

Twitter censors Trump hours after he signs executive order combatting social media censorship

UNITED STATES, May 29, 2020  (LifeSiteNews) — Twitter has censored a new post by President Donald Trump within 24 hours of him signing an executive order to combat social media censorship. The social media giant covered a tweet published by Trump earlier today with the words: “This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible.”

Catholic Bishops Pander To Washington State Politics Rather Than Defend Their Faith

Washington state Catholic leaders would rather stick it to the president than let him defend their right to celebrate Mass. Following President Donald Trump’s direction on Friday for states to allow houses of worship to reopened and to declare public worship as essential, Gov. Jay Inslee immediately thumbed his nose, and Washington bishops quickly follow suit. In a disappointing response, the bishops demonstrated that rather than stand up for their flock and acknowledge the president’s commitment to religious…Continue Reading

Book calling for Catholic blessing of homosexual couples was requested by Austrian bishops’ conference

CNA Staff, May 26, 2020 / 11:02 am MT (CNA).- A book considering how homosexual couples might receive a formal, liturgical blessing of their union in the Catholic Church was written in response to a request from the liturgical committee of the Austrian bishops’ conference, according to the book’s principal author. The work includes contributions by a number of German speaking theologians and a liturgical section, including a suggestion for how such a Church blessing…Continue Reading

Trump announces that houses of worship are ‘essential,’ calls on governors to open them up

President Trump on Friday announced that new Centers for Disease Control guidance will classify houses of worship as “essential,” as he called on governors to allow them to open “right now” after being closed during the coronavirus lockdowns. Trump announced the policy for churches, synagogues and mosques, during a short briefing at the White House. BALTIMORE PASTOR RIPS UP CEASE-AND-DESIST LETTER MID-SERMON: ‘WE’RE GONNA DO IT GOD’S WAY!’ “The governors need to do the right thing and allow…Continue Reading

Advertisement3

Does Life Have Any Meaning?

By DONALD DeMARCO W. Somerset Maugham was among the most popular writers of his era and reputedly the highest-paid author during the 1930-40s. His most popular novel, The Razor’s Edge (1944), which was made into a most successful movie two years later, is about the search for meaning. It takes as its theme the Zen…Continue Reading

Jinping Takes Up The U.S. Challenge

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Is the U.S. up for a second Cold War — this time with China? What makes the question newly relevant is that Xi Jinping’s China suddenly appears eager for a showdown with the United States for long-term supremacy in the Asia-Pacific and the world. With the U.S. consumed by the coronavirus…Continue Reading

Man Who Smeared Wartime Pope Dies

By RONALD RYCHLAK (Editor’s Note: Ronald Rychlak is a distinguished professor of law at the University of Mississippi Law School. He also serves on the Board of Advisors of the Catholic League, which distributed this article on May 15.) + + + Rolf Hochhuth has passed away in Germany at the age of 89. He…Continue Reading

Pope Francis . . . Merges Two Alaska Dioceses Into New Archdiocese

(CNA) — Pope Francis merged two dioceses in Alaska on May 19, creating the new Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau which will cover a territory larger than Montana. The Pope appointed Bishop Andrew E. Bellisario as the metropolitan archbishop of the newly formed archdiocese in southern Alaska. The Diocese of Juneau, located on the Alaska’s southeastern panhandle,…Continue Reading

Does Pelosi Believe A Baby Has A Right To A Mother?

By TERENCE P. JEFFREY (Editor’s Note: Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSNews.com. Creators Syndicate distributes his column.) + + + When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appeared on CNN with Anderson Cooper on Monday, May 18, she started the interview with an effusive statement about Cooper’s “new baby.” “Well, first let me…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. You recently wrote about Reiki as something not in accord with Church teachings. What about yoga? — L.S., via email. A. In his book Catholics and the New Age, Fr. Mitch Pacwa said that the word “yoga” is Sanskrit for “yoke” or “union” and, in Hinduism, it describes “the general category of various kinds of disciplines meant to unite…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Pandemic Brings Unseen Into View

By FR KEVIN M. CUSICK The Church and her work for souls, unseen and unknown so often by so many in a world which has made God so invisible, has in some ways become more tangible in these months when so much of “normal” life has ground to a halt. Many of our physical activities and concerns, our business and…Continue Reading

Manifest The Gifts Of The Holy Spirit

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Solemnity Of Pentecost (YR A) Readings: Acts 2:1-11 1 Cor. 12:3b-7, 12-13 John 20:19-23 In the second reading, St. Paul tells us: “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God.” In these verses, St. Paul…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. While I’ve read letters in religious publications from prisoners begging for Catholic materials, I have never had any success making contact with Catholic chaplains who might have requests for certain items. I’ve tried both prison and diocesan addresses, and no one responds. Any suggestions? — N.D., Illinois. A. Perhaps readers who are involved in prison ministry can recommend places…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… A Pope Francis Primer

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We are immersed in cultural and political wars, with opposing parties engaged in perpetual bickering and posing for effect. On the political front we are faced daily with the spectacle of elected officials who don’t want to work. Instead, they go on the attack and attempt to impeach the reputations of others. False criminal accusations…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Blessed Titus Zeman

By DEB PIROCH “Even if I lost my life, I would not consider it wasted, knowing that at least one of those that I helped has become a priest in my place” — Slovak priest, Blessed Titus Zeman. + + + Czech Communists attempted to eliminate the Catholic Church in Czechoslovakia, beginning in 1945, Prime Minister Klement Gottwald working hand-in-hand…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Louis Marie Grignion De Montfort

By DEB PIROCH During the month of Mary, we turn to St. Louis Marie de Montfort (1673-1716), a saint inseparable in devotion to Christ’s Blessed Mother. His feast falls on the anniversary of his death, April 28, as if he is joyfully pointing us to the Marian month ahead. Many are familiar with Pope St. John Paul’s personal motto, “Totus…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)