Gay Rights Organizations Hail Court Ruling as “Game Changer”
CHICAGO — Companies cannot discriminate against LGBT employees in the workplace because of their sexual orientation, a federal appeals court said, in a ruling that a gay rights group called a “game changer.”
The 8-to-3 decision Tuesday by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago is likely to lead to a battle before the Supreme Court over the interpretation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This is because a three-judge panel in Atlanta ruled the opposite three weeks ago.
“This decision is game changer for lesbian and gay employees facing discrimination in the workplace and sends a clear message to employers: it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation,” said Greg Nevins, of Lambda Legal, which advocates for LGBT issues.
The case stems from a lawsuit by Indiana teacher Kimberly Hively alleging that the Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn’t hire her full time because she is a lesbian.