In a ruling that may out rank anything Trump could decide to write with his "Make America Great Again" pen, a U.S. Circuit Court has made a bold, yet divided state,ent about LGBT rights in the workplace.
For the first time ever, a U.S. appeals court on Tuesday ruled that federal civil rights law protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees from discrimination in the workplace.
The ruling from a divided 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago represents a major legal victory for the gay rights movement.
It also allows a lawsuit to go forward in Indiana, where plaintiff Kimberly Hively said she lost her community college teaching job because she is lesbian.
"I have been saying all this time that what happened to me wasn't right and was illegal," Hively said in a statement released by the gay rights legal organization Lambda Legal, which represents her.
In its decision to reinstate Hively's 2014 lawsuit, which was thrown out at the local level in Indiana, the Court of Appeals ruled that protections against sex discrimination in Title VII of the Civil RightsAct of 1964 protects people from job discrimination based on their sexual orientation.
In so doing, the full appeals court overruled a decision by a smaller panel of its judges to uphold the district court's decision in the college's favor.
In its 8-3 decision, the court bucked decades of rulings that gay people are not protected by the milestone civil rights law, because they are not specifically mentioned in it.
"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," Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote for the majority. "We conclude today that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination." aol.com
Will this stand or will this case go higher?
We may not be seen in the law, but now, and maybe just for now, we are protected.
Now we need to work to be seen in the census.
Selisse Berry, CEO & Founder of Out & Equal Workplace Advocates
“The checks and balances set up in this country are working just as they should. Today one of our most conservative courts ruled that it is unconstitutional to fire someone simply because they’re gay or lesbian.
The courts ruled in line with what our country’s largest corporations have known for decades— that having a diverse and authentic workforce is not just the smart thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. We look forward to the court’s decision being upheld through what is sure to be an arduous appeals process. We will continue to stand with every LGBT person in this country that has ever had to choose between the career they love and the person they love until we are all treated equally under the law. “