Workplace Discrimination Against Sexual Minorities

Subject: Sociology
Pages: 2
Words: 309
Reading time:
< 1 min

Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation does not enjoy protection as a protected characteristic. As a result, gays and lesbians experience discrimination in the workplace. Although the Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 mentions “sex” as a category entitled for protection, courts are unanimous in holding that sexual orientation cannot be interpreted as an eligible category under the law for protection against discrimination. It is also noteworthy that attempts to amend the Title have been futile. The employee herein can therefore not proceed against the employer under the pretext of sexual orientation. It should be remembered that these persons with different sexual orientations are capable of performing a job if they are otherwise qualified. They only carry a stigma that they are not normal, but it is very difficult to differentiate them from people of normal sexual orientation.

As such, regardless of their sexual orientation, they can still claim under Equal Employment Opportunity Laws as any other normal person can claim without claiming under sexual orientation. It is not that people of such sexual orientation are excluded from employment. Unless these people expose themselves to their behavior, they are not going to be isolated and discriminated against. There are gays in the military wherein the policy is “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” since 1993. Still, gays and lesbians are required to be silent about their orientation without openly engaging in homosexual behavior. In response, the military would not resort to dismissing such individuals from its ranks. Public employees are allowed to challenge discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation by the U.S. Constitution as unconstitutional. As such, adverse employment decisions on the basis of sexual orientation can be challenged as denial of equal employment protection or breach of associational rights.