Discrimination is treatment or consideration based on the group, class, or category to which a person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit. It is considered unethical in American society to discriminate against people for actions or attitudes which are unrelated to their job or role. However, it is often not easy to determine what is relevant or not.
In a famous case in New Jersey, gay rights activists tried to invoke "discrimination" to force the Boy Scouts to permit homosexual scoutmasters as role models for youth. Lower court decisions were favorable to this campaign, but the Supreme Court sided with the Boy Scouts in 2000.
- discrimination (English) (HTML). Dictionary.com. Retrieved on 2007-09-30. “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination.”