Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Suit Challenges Funeral Home's LGBT Discrimination

A suit filed in March in a Mississippi state trial court against a Picayune, MS funeral home attracted attention yesterday after Lambda Legal issued a press release describing the case.  The complaint (full text) in Zawadski v. Brewer Funeral Services, Inc., (MS Cir. Ct., filed 3/7/2017), alleges that after the death of Robert Huskey, defendant funeral home backed out of its agreement to provide post-mortem transportation and cremation services for his body because it learned that he was a gay man whose next of kin was his lawful husband.  The funeral home's only explanation was that it did not "deal with their kind." The suit alleges infliction of emotional distress, breach of contract and misrepresentation.  Reporting on the lawsuit, WCYB News points out that Mississippi's Protecting Freedom of Conscience from Government Discrimination Act, which protects the refusal to provide goods or services on the basis of various religious and moral beliefs, has been enjoined while its constitutionality is litigated. The 5th Circuit heard arguments in the case last month. (See prior posting.)