Tuesday, August 02, 2016
Ind. Gov't. - "Court: Lack of LGBT protections is 'paradoxical'"
Another good editorial today from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, this one relating to the 7th Circuit July 28th opinion in Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College (see ILB posts here and here). Some quotes:
A ruling last week by a federal appeals court underscores the need for Indiana to upgrade its civil rights laws to include gays, lesbians and transgendered persons.
After the disastrous Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 2015 made it appear Indiana lawmakers were condoning discrimination against the LGBT community, the law’s backers professed shock anyone could support that sort of thing. Gov. Mike Pence argued Hoosiers are such welcoming people that discrimination would never be on their minds.
In this year’s legislative session, an effort to add gays – though not transgendered persons – to the list of groups protected under Indiana’s civil rights law failed even to reach a vote. Proposals like this take time to catch on, advocates were advised.
But the ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Thursday upholding dismissal of a lesbian’s lawsuit against Ivy Tech Community College made it clear that LGBT rights aren’t just a theoretical issue for civics classes to chew on. * * *
[F]ederal law doesn’t include protections against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, either. In other words, unless there are local or state protections that apply, it’s OK to discriminate, the court said.
The court noted the legal landscape is changing rapidly. * * *
“Perhaps the writing is on the wall,” the 7th Circuit panel added in its opinion. “It seems unlikely that our society can continue to condone a legal structure in which employees can be fired, harassed, demeaned, singled out for undesirable tasks, paid lower wages, demoted, passed over for promotions, and otherwise discriminated against solely based on who they date, love, or marry.”