On Tuesday, the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in an 8 to 3 decision, agreed that workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case involved a former Indiana community college teacher who claimed she was denied promotions and ultimately fired from her job because she is a lesbian.
The school has since said they will not appeal the court’s decision.
Yesterday, a ruling by a Denver federal judge stated that a Colorado landlord’s refusal to rent to a lesbian couple, one of whom is transgender, violates federal housing law. This marks the first in which a court has extended protections to people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity under the federal Fair Housing Act.
According to the HuffingtonPost,com
“The Colorado case stems from a 2016 lawsuit against property owner Deepika Avanti by Rachel and Tonya Smith, a same-sex married couple who sought to rent a house in a small town about 20 miles northwest of Denver. The couple has two young children, and Rachel Smith is transgender.
…Avanti said she and her husband wanted to keep a “low profile,” and feared that the Smiths’ “unique relationship” would attract unwanted attention, the judge’s ruling said.
“Such stereotypical norms are no different from other stereotypes associated with women, such as the way she should dress or act (e.g., that a woman should not be overly aggressive, or should not act macho), and are products of sex stereotyping,” Moore [the Judge] wrote in his 12-page ruling.
The back-to-back decisions marked “tremendous” victories for the LGBT community, said Omar Gonzalez-Pagan, an attorney with Lambda Legal, a gay-rights organization that represented the plaintiffs in both cases. “It sends a strong message: discrimination against LGBT Americans in housing and employment is illegal and will not be tolerated,” he said in a statement.”