A federal court in the American state of Chicago has ruled that a 1964 law, which bars sex discrimination, does extend to sexual orientation.

The decision was ratified by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th circuit and is seen as a major victory for gays and lesbians in the workplace. Chief Judge Diane Wood wrote: “It is actually impossible to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation without discriminating on the basis of sex. It would require considerable calisthentics to remove the ‘sex’ from ‘sexual orientation.’”

While the 7th Circuit court’s jurisdiction only covers Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin the ruling is still seen as an important step in effort to protect the LGBT community from discrimination.

This ruling was made on behalf of Kimberly Hively who, as an instructor at Ivy Tech Community College, was fired because she is a lesbian. The 7th Circuit is the highest federal court to protect LGBT people under the 1964 Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against sex discrimination.

Further, Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal, who brought the case says it is a “game-change for lesbian and gay employees facing discrimination in the workplace and sends a clear message to employers: It is against the law to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Rachel Tiven, Lambda Legal CEO, said “love won again today. Kim Hively loved her job teaching math at Ivy Tech Community College, but she was fired because she is a lesbian. Today, the 7th Circuit said clearly: that’s wrong.”


(Information sourced from USAToday.com)