Tennessee is one of 16 states asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a lower court's decision to see if the word "sex" includes gender identity in federal anti-discrimination laws.

The brief refers to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision in the "Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. RG & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc." case.

In this case, the Sixth Circuit ruled that a Michigan funeral home violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act when management fired a transgender employee who did not follow the dress code.

The court decided that the law included protections against discrimination on the grounds of gender identity. However, the states argue that the word "sex" only means someone's biological sex and not gender identity.

"The Sixth Circuit’s decision in Harris essentially rewrote federal law," said Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III in a news release. "Unless and until Congress affirmatively acts to change Title VII, it is up to the States, not the federal judiciary, to determine which protections, or not, should flow to individuals based on gender identity. Because this case may also have implications for Tennessee’s schools, Tennessee has a strong interest in obtaining review by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Read more at WSMV's website.