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The Protected Class of Sexual Orientation

Definition

The American Psychological Association defines sexual orientation as:

"an enduring emotional, romantic, sexual or affectional attraction to another person. It is easily distinguished from other components of sexuality including biological sex, gender identity (the psychological sense of being male or female) and the social gender role (adherence to cultural norms for feminine and masculine behavior). Sexual orientation exists along a continuum that ranges from exclusive homosexuality to exclusive heterosexuality and includes various forms of bisexuality. Bisexual persons can experience sexual, emotional and affectional attraction to both their own sex and the opposite sex. Persons with a homosexual orientation are sometimes referred to as gay (both men and women) or as lesbian (women only). Sexual orientation is different from sexual behavior because it refers to feelings and self-concept. Persons may or may not express their sexual orientation in their behaviors."

See also Facts About Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation, Status as a Parent, Marital Status and Political Affiliation from the EEOC.

NC State Policies and Procedures Regarding "Sexual Orientation"

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