Supreme Court won’t hear LGBT workplace discrimination case

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear a case Monday involving alleged discrimination against a hospital worker based on sexual orientation. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI

Dec. 11 (UPI) — The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday not to hear a case on whether workplace sex discrimination protections extend to sexual orientation.

The nine justices, who are expected to hear other LGBT employment cases, denied to hear an appeal from Jameka Evans, a Georgia woman who said she was fired from her job as a security officer at a Georgia hospital because she’s lesbian.

In March, a three-judge panel of the 11th Circuit ruled against Evans. Judge William Pryor, who is a potential Supreme Court nominee, said Congress “has not made sexual orientation a protected class.” The full 11th Circuit Court of Appeals then refused to take up the case.

Evans said the hospital violated Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act because of her sexual orientation and her nonconformity to gender norms of appearance and demeanor, according to her attorneys at Lambda Legal.

The hospital is owned by the state of Georgia and represented by state Solicitor General Sarah Hawkins Warren in the Office of the Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr.

Lambda Legal criticized the high court’s move.

“This was not a ‘no’ but a ‘not yet,’ and rest assured that Lambda Legal will continue the fight, circuit by circuit as necessary, to establish that the Civil Rights Act prohibits sexual orientation discrimination,” Greg Nevins, the group’s employment fairness project director, said in a statement.

“The vast majority of Americans believe that LGBT people should be treated equally in the workplace. The public is on the right side of history; it’s unfortunate that the Supreme Court has refused to join us today, but we will continue to invite them to do the right thing and end this hurtful balkanization of the right of LGBT people to be out at work.”


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