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Federal Court of Appeals Rules that Civil Rights Law Protects LGBT Workers from Sexual Orientation Discrimination

gavel on rainbow flagOn Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made history by extending the protections of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to LGBT individuals in the workforce when it held that “discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination.” In Tuesday’s 8-3 decision, the full panel of Seventh Circuit judges overturned an October 2016 ruling by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit, which dismissed the sex discrimination claims brought by Kimberly Hively, a lesbian adjunct professor against Ivy Tech Community College.  Ms. Hively claimed that the Ivy Tech refused to promote her and ultimately eliminated her position because of her sexual orientation.  In October, the three-judge panel opined that it was bound by existing precedent to differentiate between sexual orientation discrimination and sex discrimination (discrimination based on biological sex) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Continue Reading