Over one million Americans are married to someone of the same sex. Although the United States Supreme Court guaranteed the fundamental right of marriage to same-sex couples in 2015, these individuals can still be denied housing or fired from their dream job after getting legally married. For much of history, gay individuals have not been protected by the law, both statutorily and constitutionally. Private individuals are generally still free to discriminate against gay people today because federal statutes rarely prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. Consequently, many have argued that sexual orientation discrimination constitutes unlawful discrimination based on sex. Until recently, these arguments were summarily dismissed, as nearly all federal circuit courts held sexual orientation is not a protected class. Some courts, however, have revisited precedent and held that discrimination based on sexual orientation constitutes unlawful sex discrimination.
Alec D. Guy,
The Quest for Equal Dignity: Federal Statutory Protection Against Sexual Orientation Discrimination,
84 Mo. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/mlr/vol84/iss4/10