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Pride at Work Reacts to Ground-Breaking Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

For Immediate Release

April 5, 2017

Contact: Jerame Davis – jdavis@prideatwork.org

Pride at Work Reacts to Ground-Breaking Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling on Sexual Orientation Discrimination

Washington – On Tuesday in a ground-breaking 8-3 decision, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Seventh Circuit is now the highest court in the nation to have reached this conclusion, which will likely have implications nationwide. Pride at Work Executive Director, Jerame Davis, issued the following reaction to the ruling:

“As someone who was fired for being gay in Indiana, it is difficult to overstate the importance of this ruling to lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) working people. The Seventh Circuit has confirmed what we have known all along – LGB discrimination is sex discrimination, which is barred by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“It has always been clear that sexual orientation discrimination is rooted in sex discrimination and now the federal court system recognizes this fact. While this ruling only applies in the 7th Circuit states of Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, it will have implications nationwide by sending a clear message that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is barred by federal law.

“While this ruling is a huge step forward, it is still true that the strongest, most durable protections an LGBTQ working person can obtain is an inclusive collective bargaining agreement. Union contract protections are binding to all parties regardless of federal or state law and many contracts also provide the employee with representation, something no state or federal law does.”

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Pride At Work organizes mutual support between the organized Labor Movement and the LGBTQ Community for social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Learn more at www.prideatwork.org

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