Peacock Scholarship

A Heightened Scrutiny for Sexual Orientation under the Equal Protection Clause

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Equality was explicitly written in the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, promising equal treatment. Even though many states recognize lesbians, gays, and bisexuals' rights, LGB individuals across the country still remain vulnerable due to minimal judicial scrutiny. The article will explore the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the three standards of judicial review established by the Supreme Court, and analyze how they pertain to sexual orientation. This article further argues that sexual orientation meets all the Supreme Court's requirements for suspect classification. Accordingly, the Supreme Court should use the highest level of judicial review over LGB challenges and in order to protect the rights of the LGB individuals because these individuals belong to a discrete and insular minority with a long history of discrimination and political powerlessness. Sexual orientation further displayed immutable characteristics that are irrelevant to an individual's ability to participate and contribute to society. This thesis will only discuss sexual orientation, which is an enduring pattern of romantic or sexual attractive toward a person. The term "LGB individuals/community" refers to all sexual orientation -- including gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, and several others.

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  • 06/09/2021
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