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LGBTQ Community Finally Safe at Work

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While gay marriage is the law of the land, for the last few years many members of the community lamented that they could get married on Saturday and then fired on Monday. That is no longer something they have to worry about. On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago found that discrimination against people because of their sexual orientation violates their rights as given to them by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The decision will most likely be fought and will ultimately go to the Supreme Court.

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The case was in response to an Indiana lawsuit

The case comes in response to a lawsuit filed by Kimberly Hivey. She alleges that the Ivy Tech Community College, located in South Bend, Indiana, refused to hire her because of her sexual orientation. Hivey is a lesbian. The school issued a statement, in which they claim they have a strict rule against such kinds of discrimination and refute her claims. Indiana is the home state of Vice President Mike Pence.

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Greg Nevins of Lambda Legal, an advocacy law firm, said, “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.”

Judge Richard Posner, writing for the majority, said that the changing views and norms of the country mean that a new interpretation of the Civil Rights Act is in order. The act makes it illegal to  discriminate based on race, color, religion, national origin or sex.

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Posner wrote, “I don’t see why firing a lesbian because she is in the subset of women who are lesbian should be thought any less a form of sex discrimination than firing a woman because she’s a woman. The judge was appointed by Republican Ronald Reagan.

The ruling came on the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

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