Civil rights law does not include gays, court says – Eric Resnick

The same court has ruled that it does protect transgender people, though

Cincinnati–The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says that if the 1964 Civil Rights Act could protect a gay cop from employment discrimination, then all gays and lesbians would have to be protected–and that just can?t be.

The 2-1 decision was rendered July 19 in the case involving police officer Chris Vickers and his former employer, the Fairfield Medical Center of Lancaster, Ohio, along with his supervisor, two co-workers and a co-worker?s spouse.

Had Vickers prevailed, it would have been the first time the federal civil rights law would have protected a gay person from discrimination on the basis of sex-stereotyping.

The legal path is the same one taken in the landmark Smith v. Salem suit two years earlier by the same court.

That case extended protection to a transsexual firefighter. The result was later duplicated, again by the same court, in Barnes v. Cincinnati, protecting a transsexual police officer.

All follow the 1989 U.S. Supreme Court decision Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, in which the high court said that even though it was not specifically designated by Congress, sex-stereotyping is prohibited under Title VII of the act.

In the other cases, the Sixth Circuit agreed that the sex-stereotyping occurred when Smith and Philecia Barnes did not conform to their co-workers? expectation of what a man should act like.