(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the participants in this workplace harassment/personal injury case and its proceedings.)
The California Constitution Applies to Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation
California Courts have interpreted Article I, Section 8 of the California Constitution to include protection against disqualification from entering or pursuing a business, profession, vocation or employment because of sexual orientation. In In re Marriage Cases the Court found that, just as it is not constitutionally permissible to discriminate against ethnic minorities or women … an individual’s homosexual orientation is not a constitutionally legitimate basis for withholding or restricting the individual’s legal rights. In re Marriage Cases (2008) 43 Cal. 4th 757, 822. Further, “this state’s current policies and conduct regarding homosexuality recognize that gay individuals are entitled to the same legal rights and the same respect and dignity afforded all other individuals and are protected from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation.” In re Marriage, supra at 821-822.
The provisions of the California Constitution, Article I Section 8 are in place to protect individual’s basic civil right to access to non-discriminatory employment. In light of the evolution of our state’s understanding concerning the equal dignity and respect to which all persons are entitled without regard to their sexual orientation, it is not appropriate to interpret these provisions in a way that, as a practical matter, excludes gay individuals from the protective reach of such basic civil rights. In re Marriage Cases, supra at 823.
Clearly, the claims alleged in the FAC are within the scope of protection contemplated by the California Constitution Article I, Section 8. Accordingly, Defendants’ Summary Judgment Motion should be denied. (See Part 5 of 7.)
For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.