JUNEAU, Alaska, March 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – A federal judge has sided with an Alaska librarian who is demanding the state subsidize his gender reassignment surgery as a public employee, ruling Friday that federal civil-rights law should be interpreted as mandating the coverage.
Jennifer Fletcher, a man who identifies as a woman, is a state legislative librarian in Juneau. He says he has had to spend thousands of dollars on sex-reassignment treatments because they aren’t covered by the state’s health insurance plan, Alaska Public Media reported.
Represented by the pro-LGBT group Lambda Legal, Fletcher sued the state on the grounds that the exclusion supposedly violates the federal ban on “sex discrimination” in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The state responded that the procedures in question would not have been covered for men or women, but U.S. District Court Judge H. Russel ultimately agreed with Lambda’s argument.
Russel’s decision could be appealed, but the dispute is more likely to 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.” At issue is whether this reference to sex should be interpreted to include “sexual orientation” and “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. “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.”
Should the LGBT lobby’s interpretation prevail, the fallout would go far beyond protecting homosexual or transgender Americans from tangible harm. Rather, it could 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).