U.S. 11th Circuit rules that Title VII does not protect workers on the basis of sexual orientation

A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not protect people from being discriminated against by employers on the basis of sexual orientation.

A panel of the 11th Circuit ruled 2-1 against Jameka Evans, the plaintiff in Evans v Georgia Regional Hospital. Evans is a lesbian who presents as masculine, and alleges that she was harassed in the workplace in violation of Title VII.

Several other Circuits and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have found that Title VII’s ban on “sex discrimination” should be read as forbidding discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The entire 11th Circuit will now have the opportunity to decide whether they wish to vacate the panel’s decision and hear the case.

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