The Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects people from discrimination in employment, public accommodations, public facilities, federally-assisted programs, and other areas. In most of these, it prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, and religion.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which deals with employment discrimination, adds sex as a protected category. Over the years, Title VII’s prohibition on sex discrimination has been expanded to include sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination. One has to wonder, though—how did sex end up in Title VII as a protected category, if it’s not anywhere else in the law? Join me for a historical odyssey into the realm of unintended—but awesome—consequences.
President Lyndon B. Johnson was adamant about getting the Civil Rights Act passed. It would prove to be one of the signature achievements of his time in office, and the major event that sparked the reshuffling of party positions*.