Constitutional FAQ Answer #134 – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

Constitutional FAQ Answer #134

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Q134. “Is there anything in the Constitution, Bill
Of Rights or any Amendment that adds to discrimination due to race, color, or
creed? I thought that ‘Sexual Preference’ was added, but I am told that I am

A. There is nothing anywhere in the Constitution that specifically bans
discrimination based on sexual preference. There is not even a direct ban on
discrimination based on race, color, or creed. What we do have are provisions
that are often interpreted that way. The 15th
and 19th Amendments, which ensured that blacks
and women could vote, hint at a policy of non-discrimination, but they are
actually quite specific. They only involve suffrage and nothing else. However,
the due process clause of the 14th Amendment has
been interpreted to mean that discrimination based on traits such as race are a
violation of due process and not constitutional (when done by the government or
an agent of the government). It is a complex issue. Again, a ban on
discrimination based on sexual preference is not a part of the Constitution, but
has been extended, to some degree, based on the 14th Amendment by the courts.
The subject is far from a closed one at this time.

Last Modified: 16 Aug 2010

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