by Scott Jaschik
Originally published: April 5, 2017
A federal appeals court ruled 8 to 3 Tuesday that a lesbian former adjunct may sue Ivy Tech Community College for discrimination based on her sexual orientation.
The ruling says that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars employment discrimination based on race, gender, national origin, religion and other factors, can also be used to sue for bias on the basis of sexual orientation.
A ruling last year by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit said that the former adjunct had no right to sue, even if she suffered discrimination. That ruling concerned many advocates for gay academics, as it seemed to say they had no federal recourse for discrimination. The judges themselves seemed concerned, writing in last year's ruling of "a paradoxical legal landscape in which a person can be married on Saturday and then fired on Monday for just that act."