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7th Circuit rules sexual orientation of employees protected

On April 4, 2017 the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled (en banc) that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 covers employees based on their sexual orientation… this case may be a battle ground for a Supreme Court case on LGBT rights.

“WOOD, Chief Judge. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful for employers subject to the Act to discriminate on the basis of a person’s “race, color, religion, sex, or national origin … .” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). For many years, the courts of appeals of this country understood the prohibition against sex discrimination to exclude discrimination on the basis of a person’s sexual orientation. The Supreme Court, however, has never spoken to that question. In this case, we have been asked to take a fresh look at our position in light of developments at the Supreme Court extending over two decades. We have done so, and we conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. We therefore reverse the district court’s judgment dismissing Kimberly Hively’s suit against Ivy Tech Community College and remand for further proceedings…”

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