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Court Says No to Reverse Sexual Orientation Discrimination

A federal magistrate in Louisiana has rejected a heterosexual woman’s claim for sexual orientation discrimination under Title VII.

Bonnie O’Daniel used to work for Industrial Service Solutions. She has asserted that she was disciplined and fired after posting a picture on Facebook of a man wearing a dress while shopping in the women’s section of Target. In the text that accompanied the photo, she wrote: “So meet, ROBERTa! Shopping in the women’s department for a swimsuit at the BR Target. For all of you people that say you don’t care what bathroom it’s using, you’re full of shit!! Let this try to walk in the women’s bathroom while my daughters are in there. #hellwillfreezeoverfirst.”  Ms. O’Daniel claimed that her supervisor (whom she had never met) was a member of the LGBTQ community and had taken offense to her post.

She sued, claiming that she was discriminated against based on her heterosexual orientation.

Louisiana is under the jurisdiction of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The federal magistrate restated the Fifth Circuit’s previous holding that Title VII does not protect any employee from sexual orientation discrimination. Furthermore, Ms. O’Daniel could not reasonably argue that discrimination based on her status as a married, heterosexual female was discrimination on the basis of sex. Thus, Ms. O’Daniel had not engaged in protective activity and her claims were dismissed.