A Mississippi gubernatorial candidate is currently facing widespread backlash over his controversial decision to bar a female reporter from covering him for a day without bringing along a male colleague.
Republican state representative Robert Foster told Mississippi Today’s Larrison Campbell that she could not join his campaign for a ride-along day on the trail.
He said he and his wife follow the “Billy Graham Rule,” in which Christian men avoid ever being alone with women other than their wives, “to avoid any situation that may evoke suspicion or compromise of our marriage.”
Professor Joanna Grossman, a prominent scholar and expert on employment and gender discrimination law, told INSIDER that Foster banning Campbell from covering him alone doesn’t violate federal anti-discrimination law Title VII.
Title VII only covers discrimination within an employer-employee relationship.
But Grossman added that the blanket policy Foster described in his tweets of not being alone with another woman in following the Billy Graham rule “would violate several different laws” in the context of his current position as a state representative.
Under the Equal Protection clause, government officials like state representatives and governors “cannot treat people differently on the basis of sex without an important governmental interest,” Grossman explained.
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Source:: Businessinsider – Politics