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The Latest: Dissenting judges criticize LGBT workers’ ruling

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on a federal appeals court in Chicago ruling the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination (all times local):

8:10 p.m.

A dissenting opinion criticizes the majority on a Chicago federal appeals court for becoming the first to rule that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination.

The 8-to-3 decision Tuesday by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to broaden the scope of the 53-year-old law sets up a likely battle before the Supreme Court over the gay rights issue.

The dissenting opinion by Judge Diane Sykes says the desire to extend the protections to lesbians and gays is understandable. She adds that “legislative change is arduous,” but that judges aren’t authorized to amend laws. She says that Congress’ job.

In a separate opinion concurring with the majority ruling, Judge Richard Posner says changing norms called for Tuesday’s change in interpretation of the Civil Rights Act to find it covered LGBT workers.

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7:30 p.m.

The lawyer for an Indiana teacher who has won a federal appeals court ruling protecting LGBT employees from workplace discrimination says the decision is a “game changer” for lesbian and gay workers.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled Tuesday in a case brought by Kimberly Hively alleging Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn’t hire her full-time because she’s a lesbian. The court ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from discrimination in the workplace.

Gregory Nevins of the LGBT rights advocacy group Lambda Legal says the ruling “sends a clear message to employers: it is against the law to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.”

Nevin says in many states, “lesbian and gay workers are being fired because of who they love.”

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7 p.m.

An Indiana teacher who’s the plaintiff in the case in which a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination says she filed her lawsuit because she felt she was being “bullied.”

Hively says that what happened to her was “wrong.” She told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the time has come “to stop punishing people for being gay, being lesbian, being transgender.”

She says, “It’s 2017 and all classes should be protected.”

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5:48 p.m.

A federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled the 1964 Civil Rights Act does protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination.

The decision comes after the 7th Circuit rejected a July finding by three of its own judges that the law doesn’t cover sexual-orientation bias and ordered a rare rehearing by the full court.

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.

The entire court reheard oral arguments in November and directed the toughest questions at a lawyer who argued only Congress could extend protections.

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