This thesis provides an in-depth legal analysis of the protection status granted to minority groups by the Supreme Court under the Fourteenth Amendment. It sets forth a thorough definition of what a suspect class is and an explanation of its requirements, with the final aim of analyzing sexual orientation within the boundaries of such definition. There are four main points to consider when identifying a suspect class: a history of purposeful discrimination, political powerlessness, an immutable and uncontrollable trait, and incorrect stereotypes. If all the indicia of suspectness are met then the group is considered a suspect class and if only some of the criteria are met then it is considered a Quasi-suspect class. This thesis will prove that sexual orientation is at least a Quasi suspect class by fulfilling most of the requirements in an above satisfactory fashion, although the argument could perfectly be made for full-suspectness status if the Court were to find them all sufficient. It also comprehensively compares U.S. court cases throughout, and finally presents a side-by-side review of U.S. Supreme Court’s decisions on gender and sexual orientation
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