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  FIGHTING CHANCES

How Do You Prove That Your Boss Is A Lesbophobe?

Jacqueline Gill and a bunch of others all got hired as full-time teachers by North Texas’ Tarrant County College with the understanding that they would get a permanent positions after successfully completing one year of work.

During her first year, Gill accused a student of academic dishonesty and he retaliated by saying that she flirted with girls during class, a claim Gill denied. Nevertheless the college’s English Department Chair still subjected her to a lengthy diatribe about how “Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals” afterwards.

And when Gill’s year ended with high praise from colleagues, superiors, parents and teachers, the college still decided not to hire her even though it hired all the other teachers she started with.

Yesterday Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the college saying that they violated the the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to hire her because of her lesbianity. However, we’re wondering whether Lambda Legal has a litigious leg to stand on, seeing as LGBTs lack a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to protect them against such firings and a nationwide court decision declaring them as a suspect class of discriminated-against citizens.

Without those, they may have a hard time proving that the college simply breeched its contractual agreement rather discriminated against Gill just for being a lesbian.

Image republished with permission of The Dallas Voice

By:           Daniel Villarreal
On:           Sep 8, 2011
Tagged: , ,

  • 4 Comments
    • Kat
      Kat

      “Yesterday Lambda Legal filed a federal discrimination lawsuit against the college saying that they violated the the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to hire her because of her lesbianity. However, we’re wondering whether Lambda Legal has a litigious leg to stand on, seeing as LGBTs lack a federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to protect them against such firings and a nationwide court decision declaring them as a suspect class of discriminated-against citizens”

      Well, ENDA would make some form of legal action a bit easier, providing a clear statutory cause of action.

      It appears as though this is a pure constitutional action, with the defendant being a governmental entity. Yes, even despite Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas there has been no SCOTUS decision overtly recognizing ‘suspect class’ status for LGBs or Ts. However, that’s not an absolute requirement – though it certainly would make things easier in court. My guess is that if there is some level of proof that someone with employment-related decisionmaking authority did indeed say “Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals” in the context of this decision not to hire the woman full-time, then the author of the majority opinions in Romer and Lawrence might side with the four non-corporate-christianist justices instead of the four corporate-christianist ones should the case get to the SCOTUS.

      Sep 8, 2011 at 1:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard
      the crustybastard

      Log Cabin Republicans v. Gates provided a recent determination that government action that treated gay soldiers separately and unequally with respect to their employment was facially unconstitutional. That case also determined that antigay legislation merits intermediate scrutiny, not merely rational basis review.

      It really was a great win. Too bad Obama worked so hard to render it moot.

      Sep 8, 2011 at 2:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Thomas Maguire
      Thomas Maguire

      “Lesbophobe” and “lesbianity”?

      Wow. Just. Wow.

      Sep 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Opheliac
      Opheliac

      @Thomas Maguire: Lesbianity isn’t even a word. Lesbophobe, however, is.

      Sep 9, 2011 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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