Aimee Stephens, a Michigan woman who sued after being fired from her job for being transgender, passed away in her home on May 12. Aimee’s case, R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes v. EEOC and Aimee Stephens, was the first-ever transgender civil rights case to be heard by the Supreme Court and is pending an imminent ruling that could have implications on millions of American workers and their families. She is survived by her wife Donna.
Kasey Suffredini, CEO and national campaign director of Freedom for All Americans, released the following statement:
“Aimee’s courage and bravery to live as the woman that she was will forever have a powerful impact on LGBTQ people and all Americans who value the Golden Rule of treating others as they would want to be treated. In the face of an employer who fired her for being her true self, Aimee came forward to share her personal story in front of the Court and millions of Americans. She bravely did this in order to fight for a future where no transgender American has to fear harassment or repercussions simply for being who they are. Her selflessness and heroism were felt deeply throughout the LGBTQ community, and we’re devastated that Aimee did not receive closure on her case before she passed.
“In honor of Aimee Stephens’ life, it’s more important than ever that the Court rule on the side of dignity, respect, and fairness for all LGBTQ Americans. We are so grateful for the sacrifices she made throughout her journey, and we send our deepest sympathies to her wife and family.”
Stephens served as a funeral director for R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes for nearly six years until 2013, when she was fired shortly after informing her employer that she was a transgender woman. Her case, along with two cases of gay men who faced workplace discrimination, will determine whether federal law will continue to protect LGBTQ people.