Lewis v. Highpoint Reg’l Health Sys. (USA)

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Xyaira Chanel Lewis is a transgender woman and a certified nursing assistant who sued High Point Regional Health System for employment discrimination under Title VII based on transgender status. A federal court in North Carolina recently declined to dismiss Lewis’ lawsuit. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission wrote an amicus brief in support of Lewis.

We support Lewis’ lawsuit and hope the lawsuit is successful.

Lewis v. Highpoint Reg’l Health Sys.

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4 thoughts on “Lewis v. Highpoint Reg’l Health Sys. (USA)

  1. “Defendant High Point Regional Health System (“High Point”) has filed a motion to dismiss, claiming that discrimination against a transgender individual is not cognizable as sex discrimination under Title VII.”

    Title VII clearly says “sex” not gender or gender identity. This is its historical meaning, and transgender activists had nothing to do with Title VII. It was second wave feminists and people of color. Despite what transgender activists say, biological sex does exist. After reading through some of the links, any rational person would come to the conclusion that what this individual is really referring to is “gender “identity”. By “identifying as a woman”, and constantly referring to himself as “she”, or “her”, this individual is claiming gender or gender identity not sex. Under Title VII, is biological sex the exact same thing as gender because that is what they would have us believe.

    I argue that erasing the female sex as a distinct class of persons and replacing it with gender identity is the most odious form of sex discrimination.

  2. “It is using the legal theory of sex stereotyping developed in Price Waterhouse. I disagree with your analysis.”

    Ms. Brennan, I posted this earlier as to how I see sex discrimination under Title VII. When civil rights activists and second wave feminists were successful in passing Title VII, they weren’t referring to “gender identity” or gender. Title VII clearly states “sex” not gender identity. This male individual identifies as a woman and transgender. In fact, they use the term “gender” and transsexual.

    (1.) Do you believe that biological sex exists? I’m aware of rare disorders of sexual development, but we know that this is not the same thing as transgender. He is not claiming this. This is a different issue, and as I understand it rare disorders of sexual development fall under ADA. Does sex exist or not?
    (2.) How is” sex” defined under Title VII? Does it mean biological sex, or gender identity? Or, is sex exactly the same as gender identity? We know it’s not the same, but we are supposed to pretend it is.
    (3.) How can someone claim sex discrimination and discrimination based on gender identity at the same time? It seems to me that the only way any rational person can do this is if he or she sees sex and gender identity as one and the same.

    I don’t support lawsuits by transgender identified persons under Title VII unless I know the specifics of each individual case. Depending on the particular situation, I argue that “gender identity” can and does codify sex based stereotypes into law. By perpetuating the sexist notion that there are inherent characteristic, modes of dress, mannerisms, and attributes associated with males and females, it is sex discrimination on its face. Title VII mentions sex not gender or gender identity. So, it seems clear to me that there is recognition that biological sex exist. Any rational person knows that we as a species are sexually dimorphic, and like all primates we reproduce sexually. Primates do not change their sex.

    If we look at this from an historical perspective, it’s clear that the original intent of Title VII focused on biological sex not “gender identity”, or an internal thought perception, belief, or feeling. Gender and gender identity would more accurately be characterized as sex stereotypes.

    I argue two things. First, erasing the female sex as a distinct class of persons and replacing it with “gender identity” is the most odious form of sex discrimination in that it renders the female sex itself invisible, and devoid of substance, history, and merit. The female sex exists in and of itself, or it does not. Second, “gender” and “gender identity” actually perpetuate culturally based sex stereotypes. It is nearly impossible to completely separate one’s perception of gender from society’s views on proper “masculinity” and “femininity”.

    (a) Employer practices

    It shall be an unlawful employment practice for an employer –

    (1) to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual with respect to his compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin; or

    (2) to limit, segregate, or classify his employees or applicants for employment in any way which would deprive or tend to deprive any individual of employment opportunities or otherwise adversely affect his status as an employee, because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.

    If the courts are going to treat sex and “gender identity” as if they are one and the same, then they should clearly define “gender identity”. If we rule out disorders of sexual development which is quantifiable, for all practical purposes, gender identity is based on self-identification. People can change their gender identity at any time, but as a female I can never change my DNA. I can’t change the fact that I was born with a female reproductive system. I know that some women might be missing part of their reproductive system, or part of it might be damaged, but if the female reproductive system didn’t exist, the human species wouldn’t exist. All this is immutable whereas “gender identity” is not. Apparently, under Title VII, “sex” can mean biological sex, and it can also mean gender and gender identity. How can it be both at the same time when we know that biological sex exists, and it is not always the same as gender identity? They would have us believe that “sex” is and isn’t the same as gender identity, but they don’t even have a precise definition of gender identity other than how a person self identifies at any particular point in time.

    Below I give two examples of what I do and don’t see as sex discrimination under Title VII.

    Example A:

    A biological male dresses and conducts himself in a way that isn’t stereotypical associated with how society views proper masculine behavior. He wants a job that is traditionally considered work that is best suited to women, or is an occupation that is comprised of a lot of women employees. He might identify as transgender, but he does not say that he is a woman. I could care less how anyone dresses, or even if he identifies as transgender. I can see how this person could claim discrimination based on sex in that it’s fundamentally discriminatory to assume that males can’t work in non-traditional occupations. Moreover, it’s wrong to assume that males must adhere to strict manners of dress and behaviors that are stereotypically associated with “masculinity”.

    Example B:

    A biological male dresses and conducts himself in a way that isn’t stereotypical associated with how society views proper masculine behavior. He wants a job that is traditionally considered work that is best suited to women, or is an occupation that is comprised of a lot of women employees. He identifies as transgender, and says something to the effect that, “he always felt like a woman”. He identifies as a woman, but there is no doubt that he is a biological male. When a man says that he is a “woman”, or identifies as a “woman” what does this mean? He could say that he hates sports, prefers dresses to in pants, is emotional not logical, likes to cook, and prefers certain colors over others. Does this make him a “woman’, or is he just a man who enjoys non-traditional activities and dress? Isn’t it possible that this man is really just a man who prefers activities traditionally associated with women? The following logic and thought process goes like this. Society says that girls and women like X, and I like X, therefore I’m a woman. Our culture says that boys and men like Y, and I like Y, therefore I’m a boy. Isn’t this sexist on its face? This strikes at the heart of who really is a “woman” and who really is a “man”, and how society constructs the meaning of “girl” or “boy” and “man” and “woman”.

    There is no logical and consistent way to completely ferret out the “gender identity” from cultural stereotypes of what constitutes socially acceptable masculine and feminine behavior. No matter what anyone does and doesn’t do, they cannot prove that each and every person who identifies as being of the opposite sex isn’t doing so wholly or partly because of culturally based sex stereotypes.

    I urge the reader to try this little experiment. Try explaining “gender identity” to me without resorting to sex based stereotypes. It’s impossible to do so. It’s repugnant, and clearly contradicts the historic spirit and intention of Title VII to attribute certain characteristics, dress, and mannerisms to the female sex as if this is what defines “woman”, “sex”, and “female”.

    In example B, I can’t see how this person can claim discrimination based on sex. Title VII says “sex” not “gender identity”. If anything, the individual in Example B would be perpetuating sex stereotypes. Thus, he would be violating the very laws that he is laying claim to.

    • Gender identity is sex stereotypes. Discrimination based on sex stereotypes is prohibited under Title VII thanks to Price Waterhouse. I am not wasting my time reading your long comment, but I invite others to do so.

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