Jury Selection Gays and Lesbians Discrimination
Gays and lesbians seem to meet the criteria for a cognizable group. Certainly they have been found entitled to protection from group bias in other contexts.
"The decisions hold the Unruh [Civil Rights] Act [( Civ. Code, 51)] forbids discrimination against individuals on the basis of sexual orientation. (E.g., Rolon v. Kulwitzky (1984) 153 Cal. App. 3d 289, 292 [200 Cal. Rptr. 217]; . . . Hubert v. Williams (1982) 133 Cal. App. 3d Supp. 1, 5 [184 Cal. Rptr. 161]; see also Stoumen v. Reilly (1951) 37 Cal. 2d 713, 716-717 [234 P.2d 969]." ( Beaty v. Truck Ins. Exchange (1992) 6 Cal. App. 4th 1455, 1460 [8 Cal. Rptr. 2d 593]. the California Supreme Court has explicitly confirmed this protection. ( Harris v. Capital Growth Investors XIV (1991) 52 Cal. 3d 1142, 1155 [278 Cal. Rptr. 614, 805 P.2d 873].)
That group cannot be discriminated against in jury selection. for such discrimination would send an intolerable message, one which the United States Supreme Court has eloquently described:
"The message it sends to all those in the courtroom, and all those who may later learn of the discriminatory act, is that certain individuals, for no reason other than [sexual orientation], are presumed unqualified by state actors to decide important questions upon which reasonable persons could disagree." ( J. E. B. v. Alabama ex rel. T. B., supra, 511 U.S. at p. 142 [114 S. Ct. at p. 1428].)