It's been an up and down week with the court systems and LGBT rights. We've seen the groundwork laid for epic battles in the near future, especially regarding housing and employment discrimination.
A federal judge in Denver on Wednesday ruled that a Gold Hill property owner violated both the Federal Housing Act and the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act by refusing to rent her property to a same-sex couple — one of whom is transgender — and their children, due to concerns about their "unique relationship."
That ruling on an unopposed motion for partial summary judgment came in the case of Aurora residents Rachel and Tanya Smith, and their two minor children, versus Deepika Avanti, of Boulder, and was issued by U.S. District Judge Raymond P. Moore.
"We're incredibly pleased with this ruling. I think of this as a groundbreaking and historic ruling," said the couple's New York-based attorney, Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, a staff attorney for Lambda Legal.
"For the first time, a federal court has ruled that the Fair Housing Act's sex discrimination prohibitions apply to discrimination based on stereotypes about sexual orientation and gender identity."
The Denver ruling came just one day after the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Moore said the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled the opposite way, suggesting that question could be headed for the U.S. Supreme Court. – dailycamera.com
The 7th Circuit Court case mentioned by the Daily Camera was one we watched closely as well (Court Case Could Secure LGBT Rights In The Workplace and BREAKING NEWS: Appeals Court Ruling – US Civil Rights Law Protects LGBT Workers From Workplace Bias). It as well was a prominent part of Matt Baume's weekly review.
A court just ruled you can't be fired for being gay! It's a huge victory for LGBT workers, or at least it would be if Republicans hadn't just installed a Supreme Court justice likely to undo that ruling. Oh well. A ban on conversion therapy was just blocked by a lawmaker who runs a medical clinic — and you'll never guess what kind of therapy they offer. And the ALCU's got a plan to overturn a discriminatory new law in North Carolina, and that plan is sports.
With Gorsuch having won approval and the housing and employment cases looking to head up the ladder of justice, it looks like we may have a SCOTUS level battle soon.