Texas trans man Kièr Rice was allegedly assaulted by his employer Friday while on the job in what he’s calling a Hate Crime.
This assault, as first broke by OutSmart Magazine occurred serendipitously just days after the Supreme Court announced that it would rule on whether transgender and gay people are protected in the workplace under the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Kièr Rice wrote about the assault on Facebook in an unedited, respectful post.
“I was maliciously attacked by Mr. Hicks(his employer) while I had a client in my chair. After that I was attacked again while his wife watched the whole thing transpire. I had to be taken to the hospital with 3 bruised ribs, a concussion and just finding out today a ruined shoulder. I would appreciate if you all shared this just as an awareness. Whatever you’re going through at home keep it away from the workplace. At all time we are to remain in a professional environment. I’m hurt, I’m wounded, but I’m not evil. Let’s do this the right way.”
Reporter Chelsea Edwards with News 10 talked briefly with his former employer in the video below. Garfield David Hicks obviously knew the pain misgendering would cause Mr. Rice and inflicted that pain wilfully by repeatedly addressing him with feminine pronouns. But in doing so Hicks made it clear that the victim’s sex/gender were the reason that he beat up someone whom he knew to be transgender but considered to be a woman.
“We exchanged words and there was a fight,” said Hicks. “I asked Miss Rice to leave the shop several times before I knew it there was an altercation.”
His former employer told News 10 that he has received threats since the Facebook post went up and is afraid for his family’s well being.
“Kièr and her friends have been texting my phone, calling my shop. I don’t know who these people are Asking them to leave me alone so I can just go on with my life,” said Hicks.
The law, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, forbids employment discrimination based on sex. The question for the justices is whether that language bars discrimination based on sexual orientation or transgender status.
Most federal appeals courts have interpreted the law to exclude sexual orientation discrimination. But two of them, in New York and Chicago, recently issued decisions ruling that discrimination against gay men and lesbians is a form of sex discrimination.