June 15, 2016— Professor Douglas NeJaime, faculty director of the Williams Institute, talked to The Sun about the history of anti-discrimination law rulings in the U.S. and what it likely means for an upcoming lawsuit against a barber shop which denied a transgender man a haircut. Kendall Oliver was refused service by a barber shop in Rancho Cucamonga because the owner believed cutting Oliver’s hair would violate his religious convictions.
Professor NeJaime says challenges to anti-discrimination laws in the name of religion are nothing new. He points out a similar case that was seen before the Supreme Court in 2008, in which the Court unanimously ruled in favor of a lesbian woman who was denied fertility treatment based on her sexual orientation.
“[the facts in the barbershop lawsuit] appear to make a clear case of discrimination that would violate state law,” said Professor NeJaime.