On Tuesday, April 6th, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, issued a landmark ruling in a discrimination case brought by Lambda Legal. The court found in their 8-3 ruling on Hively v. Ivy Tech that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation.
“This ruling reflects what the majority of Americans have long-known: employees should be judged on their work performance not on who they are or who they love,” said Rebecca Isaacs, Executive Director. “It is a huge step forward for the 7th circuit, which covers districts in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin, to rule that federal law protects workers. There are still 32 states without complete statewide nondiscrimination protections that cover employment, housing, and public accommodations, so it is critical that we continue fighting until all LGBTQ people and their families can live free from discrimination.”
Because courts in other circuits have issued conflicting rulings, this issue is more likely to make its way to the Supreme Court. We’ll be watching closely!
A similar ruling pertaining to workplace fairness for transgender people was issued in 2011 when the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling in the Lambda Legal case, finding that the Georgia General Assembly had discriminated against Vandy Beth Glenn, a transgender woman who was fired from her job as legislative editor after telling her supervisor that she planned to transition from male to female.