January 26, 2013 (Washington, D.C.) – Congresswoman Susan Davis introduced legislation to prohibit a person from being removed from a jury because of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
“Serving on a jury is one of America’s most cherished civic duties,” said Davis. “It is unjust to exclude a particular group of people from participating in civil society because of whom they love or what they look like. The federal government already prohibits juror discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, and economic status and as we pursue greater equality for all Americans, I believe LGBT Americans should be also be free from juror discrimination.”
California law prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation. A San Diego Superior Court judge ruled last year that prosecutors illegally dismissed at least one juror based on real or perceived sexual orientation.
Davis believes it is time to bring this common sense protection to LGBT jurors nationwide. The Juror Non-Discrimination Act was introduced with 14 original cosponsors.