Gays not protected under Title VII, court rules

August 29, 2000
Despite a 1998 landmark Supreme Courtdecision making same sex discrimination in the workplace unlawful, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals warns that homosexuals are not a "protected class" under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and generally cannot sue their employer for discrimination based solely on their "sexualorientation." Hamner v. St. Vincent Hospital and Health Care Center Inc., No. 99-3086.
      "There is a difference between one's sex and one's sexuality" under federal law, reminded Judge Daniel A. Manion in writing the August 24 opinion for the unanimous three-judge panel. In enacting Title VII, he wrote, "Congress intended the term 'sex' to mean 'biological male or biological female,' and not one's ...sexual orientation."