A national check-printing company has been ordered to pay $115,000 and apologize to a transgender "woman" after banning "her" from using the women's restroom as the United States continues to embrace the concept of "gender fluidity."
According to a press release, Minnesota-based Deluxe Financial Services, Inc. must pay $115,000 to the complainant, Britney Austin, and also to change its policies for transgender employees, as part of the settlement of a sex discrimination and harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The incident dates back to 2011, when Austin, employed in the company's Phoenix offices, began to present herself as a woman at work after informing her supervisor that she no longer identified as a man.
However, Deluxe refused to let her use the women's restroom, according to the complaint, which states that supervisors and coworkers subjected Austin to a "hostile work environment, including hurtful epithets and intentionally using the wrong gender pronouns to refer to her."
Although the company denies it has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it has agreed to revise its equal employment opportunity policies to include a "clear commitment to preventing unlawful sex discrimination and harassment," The Arizona Republic notes.
"This settlement underscores EEOC's commitment to securing the rights of transgender individuals under Title VII in the federal courts," said EEOC General Counsel David Lopez in a statement. "This is our second such resolution and we hope that employers will take notice and begin to take proactive steps to prevent and eliminate discrimination against their transgender workers."
"We are extremely grateful to the EEOC for taking on this important case on behalf of our client and working side by side with us to achieve a settlement that marks yet another Title VII victory for transgender employees," Jillian T. Weiss, a private attorney who represented Austin along with attorney Ezra Young, was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee medical officials announced on Sunday transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in the Olympics and other international events without undergoing sex reassignment surgery.
Under the new guidelines, female-to-male transgender athletes are eligible to take part in men's competitions "without restriction", and male-to-female transgender athletes will need to demonstrate that their testosterone level has been below a certain cutoff point for at least one year before their first competition.
"It is necessary to ensure insofar as possible that trans athletes are not excluded from the opportunity to participate in sporting competition," the IOC said in a document posted on its website that outlines the guidelines. "The overriding sporting objective is and remains the guarantee of fair competition.
"To require surgical anatomical changes as a precondition to participation is not necessary to preserve fair competition and may be inconsistent with developing legislation and notions of human rights," it added.
In Matthew 19: 4-6, Jesus Christ says, "And He answered and said to them, 'Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.'"
Reflecting on Christ's words, the Rev. Franklin Graham criticized the country's growing acceptance of "gender fluidity" last year after the U.S. Department of Education demanded that a public school in Virginia "revise their non-discrimination policies to include gender identity" or risk losing the federal funds they receive for their schools.
"Can you believe these idiots? Gender fluidity?" the evangelist wrote in a May 16 Facebook post. "Here's an example of some of the wicked things misguided educators today want to expose our children to...It should make your blood boil that they want to brainwash our children!"
"Teaching them that there is no difference between boys and girls is nothing more than a lie," he added. "We are different because God made us different. School districts should not allow this poison anywhere near the classroom!"
He added, "Christians upholding biblical principles on school boards could help put a stop to outrageous initiatives like this... Let's fight back by getting the names of Christians on the ballots and working to make a difference for the future of our nation."