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Federal Appeals Court Rules Discrimination Against Gay Employees Not Illegal

Jameka Evans

Jameka Evans was a security guard at Georgia Regional Hospital but was fired in October of 2013. She alleges that she was fired because she was a lesbian that did not carry herself in a “traditional woman manner”.

She filed a lawsuit against the hospital in April of 2015 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Georgia. She claimed the hospital was violating Title VII by discriminating against her because she was a lesbian and because she did not conform to gender norms with regard to her appearance. The court dismissed the case but it was later appealed to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals with the help of Lambda Legal.

Lambda Legal has been trying to get the court to recognize discrimination based on sexual orientation as sex discrimination under Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 for years. In what is considered a major setback for gay rights advocates, a 3-judge panel ruled 2-1 on Friday that the civil rights law doesn’t protect against workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Her attorneys plan to ask the court to rehear the case.