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Last Updated:2014-Feb-20
Principal Writer:Barry Shatzman

Issue Sections

Understanding The Issue
Gender Identity
Legislative & Executive Acts
What You Can Do

Reported News

Discrimination: Gender
Discrimination: Racial

Related Bills

Equality Act

2019 (HR-5)

Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA)

2013 (S-815)

Defense of Marriage Act

1996 (HR-3396)

Religious Freedom Restoration Act

1993 (HR-1308)

Civil Rights Act of 1968

1968 (HR-2516)

Civil Rights Act of 1964

1964 (HR-7152)

Related Court Cases

(2015) Obergefell v. Hodges
(2015) TX Housing Affairs v. Inclusive Communities Project
(2014) Burwell v. Hobby Lobby
(2013) U.S. v. Windsor
(2003) Lawrence v. Texas
(1988) Bowers v. Hardwick
(1954) Brown v. Board of Education
(1896) Plessy v. Ferguson


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Federal laws protect only some from discrimination

Discrimination can can affect all aspects of a person's life, including housing, job opportunities, social opportunities, and even protection from violence.

In government attempts to address and prevent discrimination, it is important to differentiate between what a person is and the things a person does. While we have control over the things we do, we have no control over aspects that make us up, for example...

o Where we were born and the tone of our skin
o Our gender
o Who we are attracted to sexually and emotionally
o Our abilities
o Our beliefs about a deity and how we practice those beliefs - regardless of whether we consider our particular beliefs to be unchangeable or a choice.

Some laws prohibit discrimination against certain protected classes.

The 1964 Civil Rights Act, for example, prohibits forms of discrimination based on skin color, religion, sex, or national origin - because it lists these as protected classes. The same law does not prohibit discrimination based on anything else, such as sexual preferences or gender identity. In this issue we address discrimination concerns, whether they involve a protected class or not.

Click here to continue to the next section of this issue...

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