Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Republican Convention, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Augusta, Maine. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty | AP

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage has joined 15 other Republican leaders across the nation in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to rule that companies can fire their workers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Court records show the friend-of-the-court brief filed Aug. 23 lists LePage among other petitioners representing states including Alabama, Louisiana, West Virginia and Texas.

The brief asks the Supreme Court to overturn an appeals court decision against a funeral home in Michigan that fired a transgender employee.

The brief argues the 1964 Civil Rights Act was intended to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex, not gender identity.

During his tenure, LePage has joined several court fights on the side of those looking to narrowly interpret LGBT rights. Maine has pioneered on them relative to the rest of the country. It added workplace protections based on sexual orientation in 2005 and backed same-sex marriage in 2012.

The Maine Democratic Party says LePage’s decision shows he doesn’t stand with residents who are in favor of upholding “basic standards of decency.”

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