Transgender woman in hospice while awaiting court ruling

GARDEN CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Detroit-area woman at the center of a U.S. Supreme Court case about transgender rights is in hospice care while awaiting a decision.

Aimee Stephens has kidney disease and was in a wheelchair when the court heard arguments in October, The Detroit News reported Monday.

“Aimee is now in hospice care at home. It is truly heartbreaking,” said Dana Chicklas, spokeswoman at the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.

Stephens worked as an embalmer and funeral home director at R.G. and G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City. She was fired in 2013 when she told her boss that she wanted to be known as Aimee and would report to work wearing a conservative skirt suit or dress.

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Thomas Rost said Stephens’ dress would be a distraction for grieving families.

The issue for the Supreme Court is whether federal civil rights law, which bars job discrimination on the basis of sex, protects transgender people. A decision is expected by late June.

A GoFundMe page was set up to help Stephens and her wife, Donna, pay for care.

“Aimee is an inspiration,” Donna said. “She has given so many hope for the future of equality for LGBTQ people in our country, and she has rewritten history. The outpouring of love and support is our strength and inspiration now.”

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This story was first published on May 11, 2020. It was updated on May 13, 2020. The story has been edited to remove a former name in accordance with AP Style to use the name by which the person lived and avoid former names unless relevant.

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