Tell the Senate: Confirm Judges Committed to Expanding Civil Rights
Extremist judges will not stop endangering the lives of pregnant people or people who may become pregnant—overturning Roe v. Wade, attacking medication abortion, threatening the future of IVF, and now pregnancy accommodations. There are 56 federal judicial vacancies and 30 nominations before the Senate right now.
Tell the Senate to commit to confirming all federal nominees who will defend the rights and well-being of pregnant and postpartum workers, people who can get pregnant, and all women!
Title VII is the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, national origin, and religion. It doesn’t specifically mention sexual orientation. In this ruling, the 7th Circuit became the first federal Court of Appeals to hold that Title VII nevertheless does protect people on the basis of sexual orientation, because discriminating against someone based on the sex of the person they date/love/marry is a form of sex discrimination.
It’s important to note though, that this ruling only considers sexual orientation – but other Courts of Appeals have previously held that discrimination on the basis of gender identity is unlawful sex discrimination. And yesterday’s ruling puts us in good shape for a case the 7th Circuit (which has not yet ruled on this issue) will soon be considering. Ash Whitaker, a trans student in Wisconsin, is suing his school for refusing to respect his gender identity. We filed an amicus brief that outlined why anti-trans discrimination is also a form of sex discrimination – an argument we believe should apply to both Title IX in Ash’s case, and anywhere sex discrimination is barred.
What Happens Next
Unfortunately though, this story may not be over. The ruling conflicts with one in the 11th Circuit, which means the case could go all the way up to the Supreme Court, should Ivy Tech choose to appeal. If that happens, we’ll have to wait a while to find out how or if this decision will have an impact on queer people at work.
In the meantime though, let’s celebrate this momentous decision and cross our fingers that legal workplace discrimination against queer people is a thing of the past!