A federal judge in Missouri dismissed a lawsuit brought by a lesbian couple on Wednesday who were turned away by a retirement home, finding that the Fair Housing Act does not protect against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“The Eighth Circuit has squarely held that “Title VII does not prohibit discrimination against homosexuals,” U.S. District Judge Jean Hamilton wrote in a 10-page order
“The court recognizes that several federal courts have held otherwise in recent opinions, concluding that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination,” the judge continued. “This court is bound by the law of the Eighth Circuit, however. … To date the Eighth Circuit has not changed its position on the issue, and so the court must dismiss.”
In their lawsuit, Walsh and Nance claimed they were discriminated against because of their sex, their association with a person of a particular sex, and on the basis of their nonconformity with sex stereotypes.
While the FHA prohibits discrimination on the basis of “race, color, religion, sex, familial status, or national origin,” Judge Hamilton found it does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.
Hamilton is a Federal Judge appointee of President George H. W. Bush