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SCOTUS takes on DACA, LGBTQ rights in new term

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The third case the justices heard Tuesday deals with gender identity, which may not match a person's sex.

Jason Carr hosted a live discussion Tuesday morning.

Multiple federal courts have ruled that anti-LGBTQ discrimination is a form of sex discrimination that violates federal law.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it illegal for employers to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, religion and sex. Several lower courts in states that support open borders have argued that he does not have the authority to end the program in the way he proposed.

The court's 5-4 conservative majority includes two justices appointed by President Donald Trump, whose administration has argued that Title VII does not cover sexual orientation or gender identity.

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Donald Zarda, a skydiving instructor from NY, and Gerald Bostock, a former child welfare services co-ordinator from Georgia, both say they were fired due to their sexual orientation. Donald Zarda says he was sacked from his job as a skydiving instructor for being gay and also, relatedly, not fitting the "macho" stereotype the company expected from its employees.

The Trump Justice Department is also taking a narrow view of sex discrimination prohibited by Title VII. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes, Inc., Petitioner v. Stephens was sacked from her position at a Detroit-area funeral home after beginning her transition from male to female.

Justice Elena Kagan suggested sexual orientation is a clear subset of sex discrimination, saying that a man who loves other men can not be treated differently by an employer than a woman who loves men.

"It was the job I loved, and my employer loved me doing the job", says Bostock, noting that under his leadership, the child advocates program "reached the benchmark of serving 100% of the children in foster care", an "unheard of milestone" for any such program in the greater metro Atlanta region. When she informed the funeral home's owner that she is transgender and planned to come to work as the woman she is, the business owner fired her, saying it would be "unacceptable" for her to appear and behave as a woman. Zarda said he was sacked because of the incident, though the company, Altitude Express, denies the allegation.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg countered that Congress also could not have foreseen sexual harassment as a kind of sex discrimination in 1964, either.

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Zarda died in a skydiving mishap in 2014, but his sister is fighting the case on behalf of his estate against his former employer.

While conducting a tandem skydive with a woman in 2010, he mentioned he was gay to assuage any concern she had about being strapped to him and in close physical contact. If a woman is fired because she is sexually attracted to other women, for example, then she is being treated differently from a woman who is sexually attracted to men, in violation of the law.

How will the court decide?

The justices will also hear debates on gun safety, including whether a New York law can stop residents from transporting their handguns outside of New York City and on a Louisiana law that puts restrictions on the state's abortion clinics. Though a moderate conservative, Kennedy wrote all of the court's opinions upholding the rights of gays and lesbians, including the 2015 decision upholding the right to marry for same-sex couples.

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The other two conservatives-Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh-have yet to rule on any issues involving LGBTQ rights.

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