An appeals court has found that
workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation does not violate
A three judge panel of the 11th
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta on Friday ruled 2-1 that
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect workers
from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Jameka Evans, a former security guard
at Georgia Regional Hospital in Savannah, filed the lawsuit against
her employer in 2015, claiming that she was targeted for harassment
and effectively drummed out of her job because she's a lesbian.
According to the
AP, visiting Judge Jose E. Martinez found that Title VII doesn't
prohibit “discharge for homosexuality.”
In his concurring opinion, Circuit
Judge William Pryor argued that it was up to Congress, not the
courts, to expand the definition of a protected class to include
sexual orientation. Pryor, an appointee of George W. Bush, was on
President Donald Trump's list of possible Supreme Court nominees.
Circuit Judge Robin Rosenbaum, an Obama
appointee, dissented, writing that the Supreme Court in 1989 found
that workplace discrimination based on sex stereotyping is unlawful.
“Plain and simple, when a woman
alleges, as Evans has, that she has been discriminated against
because she is a lesbian, she necessarily alleges that she has been
discriminated against because she failed to conform to the employer’s
image of what women should be – specifically, that women should be
sexually attracted to men only,” Rosenbaum wrote. “And it is
utter fiction to suggest that she was not discriminated against for
failing to comport with her employer’s stereotyped view of women.”
Evans is represented by Lambda Legal,
which has said it will ask for the full 11-judge court to rehear the