Aimee Stephens

Aimee Stephens (December 7, 1960 – May 12, 2020) was an American funeral director known for her fight for civil rights for transgender people.[1] She worked as a funeral director in Detroit and was fired for being transgender. Based on her court case, in a historic 2020 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay, lesbian, and transgender employees from discrimination based on sex.[2]

American civil rights activist (1960–2020)
This article includes a list of general references, but it remains largely unverified because it lacks sufficient corresponding inline citations. (December 2020)
Aimee Stephens
Born (1960-12-07)December 7, 1960

Died May 12, 2020(2020-05-12) (aged 59)

Redford, Michigan, United States
Alma mater Mars Hill University, Fayetteville Technical Community College

. . . Aimee Stephens . . .

Aimee Stephens was born on December 7, 1960 in Fayetteville, N.C. She graduated from Mars Hill University in 1984 with a degree in religious education and obtained a degree in mortuary science from Fayetteville Technical Community College in 1988.

Stephens was fired from her job at R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Home in Garden City in 2013 after she said she would wear appropriate women’s business attire at work. Stephens started a legal case, arguing that she was protected under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. The funeral home owner argued that since he would have required everyone to dress according to the gender they had been biologically assigned at birth, he hadn’t discriminated against her.[3] Justice Neil Gorsuch who argued for the LGBTQ+ community acknowledged that “Congress in 1964 likely did not have the LGBTQ community in mind when it banned discrimination based on sex. But he said the words of the statute are clear.”[4]

She was married to Donna Stephens for 20 years, and they had one child together.[5]

Stephens died from complications related to kidney failure on May 12, 2020.

In June 2020, Stephens was added among American “pioneers, trailblazers, and heroes” on the National LGBTQ Wall of Honor within the Stonewall National Monument (SNM) in New York City’s Stonewall Inn.[6][7][8] The SNM is the first U.S. national monument dedicated to LGBTQ rights and history.[9]

  1. Ortiz, Aimee (2020-05-12). “Aimee Stephens, Plaintiff in Transgender Case, Dies at 59”. The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  2. “Supreme Court Delivers Major Victory To LGBTQ Employees”. NPR.org. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  3. Burke, Melissa Nann. “Michigan woman’s case wins landmark transgender ruling”. Detroit News. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  4. Epps, Garrett (2020-06-16). “What ‘Because of Sex’ Really Means”. The Atlantic. Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  5. Ortiz, Aimee (16 Jun 2020). “Aimee Stephens, Plaintiff in Transgender Case, Dies at 59”. Retrieved 5 Oct 2021.
  6. Glasses-Baker, Becca (June 27, 2019). “National LGBTQ Wall of Honor unveiled at Stonewall Inn”. www.metro.us. Retrieved 2019-06-28.
  7. SDGLN, Timothy Rawles-Community Editor for (2019-06-19). “National LGBTQ Wall of Honor to be unveiled at historic Stonewall Inn”. San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Retrieved 2019-06-21.
  8. “New honorees named for Nat’l LGBTQ Wall of Honor at Stonewall Inn”. Windy City Times. 30 June 2020. Retrieved 2020-07-01.
  9. “Groups seek names for Stonewall 50 honor wall”. The Bay Area Reporter / B.A.R. Inc. Retrieved 2019-05-24.

. . . Aimee Stephens . . .

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. . . Aimee Stephens . . .

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