On Tuesday, a Chicago federal court ruled that LGBT employees are protected from discrimination in the workplace like any other employee under the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This is the very first time that a federal appellate court has made that ruling, according to the Associated Press. All of the others have ruled the opposite, saying that employers can discriminate against employees solely based on sexual orientation.
The ruling was the result of a lawsuit by a high school teacher, Kimberly Hively, who claimed that she wasn't hired for full-time work at the Ivy Tech Community College all because of her sexual orientation, Wavy reports. Judge Richard Posner, who heard the case, said that just because a statute is longstanding doesn’t mean the courts can’t widen its range, according to the AP.
The case could still go to the Supreme Court. But since the House and Senate are majority Republican, it's unlikely that it will have the same results as in the smaller courts.
"It's really good to know that it's making some headway," Hively told the Chicago Tribune. "I always thought there was a big disconnect when they legalized gay marriage but didn't extend any protections against workplace or housing discrimination. What they're doing is allowing people to lose jobs and homes just because they fell in love."
Luckily, this case is a step forward for LGBT rights. With all of the passionate changemakers working to end discrimation against the LGBT community, it's no doubt that the LGBT community is making strides. Let's hope this progress continues.