Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 expressly prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of an individual’s sex. Since its enactment, neither Congress nor the Supreme Court has definitively stated whether sex discrimination based on sexual orientation is protected under Title VII. Though the judicial interpretation of sex has evolved, courts have routinely held that the protections of Title VII do not extend to claims based on sexual orientation discrimination. As three circuits faced these claims, a split was created in the circuits as well as in the two agencies tasked with the enforcement of Title VII. This Comment explores the history of workplace sex discrimination cases based on sexual orientation under Title VII, how the current circuit split should be resolved, and the impact these cases will have on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace.
Split Over Sex: Federal Circuits and Executive Agencies Split Over Sexual Orientation Discrimination Under Title VII,
Cath. U. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.edu/lawreview/vol68/iss1/11