Recently, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is already illegal according to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This groundbreaking decision by the EEOC declares that employment discrimination against gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers is unlawful in all 50 states. The commission already found that Title VII bars discrimination on the basis of gender identity, protecting trans employees. According to the act, Title VII prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, including, the Supreme Court has ruled, irrational sex stereotyping.
The EEOC states that if an employer discriminates against a gay employee for being too “feminine” or a lesbian employee for being too “butch”, this is illegal sex stereotyping. Now the commission states that, if an employer does not approve of a lesbian employee’s sexual orientation, they are objecting to the fact that a woman is romantically attracted to another woman. This objection is based on irrational, stereotyped views of femininity and womanhood. If an employer discriminates against his lesbian employee, that discrimination is based in large part on her sex, and on his anger that she does not fit into her gender role.
The EEOC also stated that, sexual orientation discrimination is “associational discrimination on the basis of sex.” When a homophobic employer mistreats a gay male employee, he does so because he dislikes the fact that his employee dates other men. This means that the employer took that employee’s sex into account while making the decision to treat him unequally. Such discrimination is obviously sex-based and illegal under Title VII.