Federal Court: Sexual Orientation Discrimination Isn’t Covered By Existing Civil Rights Laws

Chris Geidner reports at Buzzfeed:

A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected a woman’s claim that existing civil rights law protects against sexual orientation discrimination — ruling that only the Supreme Court or Congress can make that the law.

“Kimberly Hively has failed to state a claim under Title VII [of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for sex discrimination,” the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals held in its decision in Hively’s appeals. “[H]er claim is solely for sexual orientation discrimination which is beyond the scope of the statute.”

In ruling against Hively’s claim — that sexual orientation discrimination should be barred under Title VII as a type of sex discrimination — the court, primarily, pointed to a series of rulings from the appeals court beginning in 1984 and continuing through 2000 in which the court found that anti-LGBT discrimination was not covered by Title VII.

In its ruling, the court declared that the EEOC’s 2015 decision that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of gender discrimination only “threw fuel on the flames” of the mistaken belief that Title VII also prohibits anti-gay actions. Hit the link for more of Geidner’s analysis.