Feds Rule Funeral Home Has to Let Flamboyant Trans Employees Minister to Mourners


Imagine this scene: A beloved family member has passed. The funeral is serious and religious. Friends and relatives come to quietly pay their respects to the grieving family, maybe sharing a fond memory or a Bible verse that they find comforting.

Then — like Corporal Klinger on MASH — a man in a five o’clock shadow, lipstick, and a dress prances into the funeral home. Before you can object, you notice a name badge. They’re an employee of the funeral home, and even though the service was supposed to be Christian and somber, you’re told you must endure being interrupted by a man in women’s clothing or you’re a bigot.

That scenario is essentially what will now be happening at a Michigan funeral home, after a circuit court ruled that the business must employ a male funeral director who has decided to become a transvestite.

The shocking ruling was not swayed by the funeral home’s Christian roots or the fact that it has clear sex-specific dress codes for its employees. Your grieving family must accept a flamboyant cross-dressing employee, a judge has decreed.

“American business owners, especially those serving the grieving and the vulnerable, should be free to live and work consistently with their faith,” stated Gary McCaleb, an attorney from Alliance Defending Freedom who represents R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes in the Detroit area.

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“The funeral home’s dress code is tailored to serve those mourning the loss of a loved one. Today’s decision misreads court precedents that have long protected businesses which properly differentiate between men and women in their dress and grooming code policies,” McCaleb explained.

It’s one thing to accommodate employees with “alternative” lifestyles as long as their choices don’t interfere with work. In the case of this transvestite funeral director, however, it seems incredibly obvious that dealing with widows and children viewing deceased family members is not the right place to host a one-man gay pride parade.

“The male employee served as a funeral director, regularly interacting with the public and grieving family members and friends,” explained ADF Media. The funeral home apparently did not know that he was a cross dresser when they hired him, or assumed that his personal life would stay outside of work.

“After informing the funeral home of his intention to begin dressing as a female at work, the employee was dismissed for refusing to comply with the same company dress code that all other men are required to follow while on the job,” continued ADF.

Should funeral homes and other businesses be allowed to have dress codes?

Even if you take the funeral and trans elements out of this case, it is appalling that the court ruled against the employer. Countless businesses have dress codes, which employees are well aware of when they accept a job.

If an upscale restaurant, for example, wants to create a traditional dining environment, they might have a dress code that prohibits employees from dying their hair green and covering their entire face with piercings.

Or, a professional office might have a semi-formal dress code for its receptionist. They can’t just show up to work in a bikini one day and then threaten to sue if the employer objects.

As long as everyone involved understands the terms of employment, this should be completely reasonable. A worker can always step down if their lifestyle is no longer compatible with the job.

It’s worth pointing out that the U.S. military and other government agencies — yes, the same government that pushed this lawsuit — have distinct male and female dress codes that cover everything from uniform style to makeup colors and hair length.

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The latest ruing against R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes is part of a back-and-forth legal battle that has been taking place since at least two years ago.

“In 2016, a federal district court ruled in favor of the Detroit funeral home and its workplace dress code. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had sued over the discharge of the employee, who refused to comply with the male dress code,” explained ADF Media.

“The court ruled that the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects the freedom of a business to maintain a dress code consistent with its sincerely held faith convictions,” the firm continued.

It didn’t last long, however. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission appealed the decision, leading to the most recent ruling in favor of the cross dressing funeral home employee.

Let that sink in: The EEOC — a government agency — is now actively trying to punish religious-based businesses for daring to have common decency or conservative standards.

Common sense and reasonable behavior has been thrown out of the window. Americans need to pay attention to what is going on, because this kind of nonsense could be coming to your workplace or business next.

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Benjamin Arie is an independent journalist and writer. He has personally covered everything ranging from local crime to the U.S. president as a reporter in Michigan before focusing on national politics. Ben frequently travels to Latin America and has spent years living in Mexico.