A federal appeals court in Chicago has ruled that LGBT workers may not be fired due to their sexual orientation, as they are protected by the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The 8-3 decision made on April 4th comes in response to Kimberly Hively’s case, who alleges Ivy Tech Community College fired her because of her sexual orientation. Hively lost that suit after she filed it last year, but this case reverses that decision.
“I have been saying all this time that what happened to me wasn’t right and was illegal,” Hively said in a statement. “Now I will have my day in court, thanks to this decision. No one should be fired for being lesbian, gay, or transgender like happened to me and it’s incredibly powerful to know that the law now protects me and other LGBT workers.”
According to Mashable, it is likely the case will elevate to the Supreme Court, unless Congress updates the 1964 Civil Rights Act to include protections for LGBTQ workers.
In the U.S., 18 states still do not have any protections in place for LGBTQ employees, which means we still have a long way to go as a nation. Still, this court decision was a monumental step in the right direction.