U.S. Supreme CourtTom Rost and Harris Funeral Homes

Targeted for relying on the law

For more than 100 years, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes has been ministering to grieving families in Michigan. Currently owned by Tom Rost, this family business has been passed down through four generations. A large part of the family’s legacy is the high level of professionalism and service the team provides to the families and friends of the deceased—it’s what sets Harris Funeral Homes apart. That’s why the organization has always maintained professional codes of dress and conduct. Tom wants to ensure that families can focus on processing their grief rather than on the funeral home and its employees.

In 2007, Tom hired a male funeral director who agreed to and abided by the funeral home’s sex-specific dress code for six years. But in 2013, the director gave Tom a letter informing Tom that that employee now identifies as a woman and would begin dressing and presenting as a woman while interacting with clients. After praying and considering the interests of the funeral director, the other employees, and the grieving families Tom serves, Tom decided that he could not agree to the funeral director’s demand.

That’s when the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against Harris Funeral Homes.

Sex-specific dress codes are consistent with industry standards and are allowed under federal law. But the EEOC claimed that “sex” in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act includes “gender identity.” While the federal government has changed its position and now supports Tom, the ACLU intervened and continues to defend a lower court decision that redefined “sex” in the law.

Now the United States Supreme Court must decide: Can unelected bureaucrats and judges bypass Congress and change the law to mean what they want it to mean?

See the impact of this case

What's at stake

Who makes the law?

In America, Congress makes law. It says so in our Constitution. But that hasn’t stopped unelected bureaucrats and judges from trying to replace “sex” with “gender identity” in Title VII. A change like this would have widespread consequences for everyone.

  • It would undermine equal opportunities for women and girls like Selina Soule and Alanna Smith, high school athletes who are being forced to compete against biological males who identify as girls—producing an unequal playing field in women’s sports.
  • It would force organizations to open women’s shelters, locker rooms, restrooms, and showers to men who believe themselves to be or simply say they are women—jeopardizing the dignity and privacy of women everywhere. 
  • And it would put employers like Tom Rost and Harris Funeral Homes in difficult situations where they would—in the plaintiff funeral director’s view—be forced to decide who is masculine or feminine enough to present a certain way—creating legal chaos.

What you stand for is what defines you

Unelected officials and the ACLU targeted Tom Rost and his family-owned business, Harris Funeral Homes, for acting consistently with existing laws in order to rewrite federal law by replacing “sex” with “gender identity.” But only Congress has the power to change the law. It says so in our Constitution. Now, Tom’s case is before the United States Supreme Court. And the outcome could have widespread consequences that include undermining equal opportunities and privacy rights for women and girls.

We must stand against this government overreach. We can no longer remain silent.

It is time to unite as a single voice to boldly proclaim what we stand for.

Will you join with thousands of others by selecting the principles you stand for and signing your name below?