Civil Rights

Rights guaranteed to an individual owing to his or her status as a citizen or resident of a particular country or community. Civil rights of U.S. citizens and residents protected by the U.S. Constitution include the right to equal protection without regard to race, color, previous condition of servitude, sex or national origin; the right of women to vote; and prohibition against poll tax and indentured servitude. Civil rights laws have been passed making it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, handicap, or national origin. Discrimination that interferes with voting rights and equality of opportunity in education, employment, and housing is unlawful.