Gov. Paul LePage has joined 15 states in calling on the Supreme Court to allow businesses to fire people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity without violating federal workplace discrimination law. The petitioners on the amicus brief include the attorney generals of Nebraska, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming along with LePage and the governors of Kentucky and Mississippi.

The case involves Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman from Michigan who was fired from her job as a funeral director after she notified her former employer that she intended to dress and present as a woman. Stephens later filed a lawsuit charging sex discrimination against the funeral home, which was dismissed by a District Court citing a “religious freedom” law. But back in March, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit reversed the lower court decision, affirming that transgender people are protected by federal sex discrimination laws and that religious beliefs don’t give employees the right to discriminate against them.

The “friend of the court” brief, led by Nebraska Attorney General Douglass Peterson, argues that sex discrimination law should be narrowly interpreted by its biological definition and not apply to sexual orientation or sexual identity. In a statement, the Maine Democratic Party blasted the governor’s decision

“After refusing to protect LGBTQ+ youth in Maine from conversion therapy, Governor LePage has turned his efforts toward making sure businesses can fire workers based on their sexual orientation and gender identity,” said Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett. “Workplace discrimination laws are in place to ensure that all employees, regardless of their gender, race, or sexual orientation are treated with basic human dignity and fairness.”

In 2005, Maine passed a law, which was later upheld in a referendum, that protects people from discrimination in employment, housing and education based on their sexual orientation. The law has since been interpreted to include gender identity. In 2014, Maine’s Supreme Court became the first court in the country to guarantee the right of transgender students to use the school bathroom designated for the gender with which they identify.

LePage has long been opposed to laws that protect the rights of transgender people, having refused to allow the Department of Education and the Human Rights Commission to issue rules that would penalize schools that discriminate against students based on their gender identity. In 2015, he also joined a group of conservative state officials to ask a federal court in Virgina to dismiss a challenge to a high school policy prohibiting transgender students from using the bathroom of the gender they identify as.