8155 – A Two-Faced Decision


For your high school reunion, you want your picture along with that of your boyfriend printed in the memory book.  The only problem in this case is you’re a boy, your boyfriend is a boy and the result is oh boy.  It seems the company that published the memory book has a policy not to include same-sex couples.  When Dave and his friend realized they couldn’t get the picture, they decided to frame matters in another way—with a lawsuit.  They claimed the company’s refusal to print the picture violated the Civil Rights Act.  Even when the reunion committee took David’s side, the company responded by refusing to publish the book at all, and sent back the committee’s check.  The Court of Appeals held the law clearly applies to classification based on sex, and as for the company’s argument that its policy applies to all same-sex couples, including fathers and sons, and twin sisters, the Court said equal application of discriminatory practice still violates the law.  One judge dissented, but the majority ruled.  And the publishers of the memory book have lost because of a snap judgment, and David and his friend will be getting the picture—double exposure and all.

People v. Robert Sanders, Supreme Court of Illinois, McMorrow, J., 6/18/98, 1998 W.L. 319490 (see No. 5331)