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Thursday, December 01, 2016

Ind. Courts - 7th Circuit, sitting en banc, hears argument re whether "whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation"

Supplementing this ILB post from yesterday, Fatima Hussein of the Indianapolis Star reports in this morning's edition - some quotes:

The question for the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals [sitting en banc] in Chicago on Wednesday was whether Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act extends to sexual orientation.

The court heard oral arguments from former Ivy Tech Community College adjunct professor Kimberly Hively's legal defense team from Lambda Legal, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and legal representatives from the college.

Hively, from South Bend, sued Ivy Tech in 2014, saying it passed her over for a permanent position and refused to renew her contract as an adjunct professor after school administrators learned she is a lesbian.

Ivy Tech has consistently denied that Hively was denied promotion because of her sexual orientation.

Wednesday morning, judges posed questions to both parties. Addressing Ivy Tech's defense attorney John Maley of Barnes & Thornburg, Chief Judge Diane Wood noted: "It is a little odd — you (Ivy Tech) said we deplore sexual orientation discrimination, but we're going to do it anyway." Maley rejected the notion.

One judge questioned Hively's lawyer: "Are we placing too much power in the judiciary to amend the word 'sex' to include sexual orientation when we know this was not the initial intent of Congress? Congress has no affinity for altering the definition of sex." * * *

The 11-judge panel on Wednesday repeatedly compared the case at hand to the landmark Supreme Court case 1967 case Loving v. Virginia, which invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 1, 2016 08:50 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions