Kimberly Hively sued Ivy Tech Community College claiming she was not promoted because of her sexual orientation. She based her claim on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, arguing that employment discrimination against lesbians should be prohibited under Title VII.
Hively of course is correct — such discrimination should be unlawful. Title VII, however, is limited to discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex or religion. Predictably the federal Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided that Hively’s claim went “beyond the scope” of the statute. If Title VII is to apply to the LGBT community only Congress or the Supreme Court can make it happen.
Discrimination against gays, lesbians and others with different sexual make-ups should be illegal — Hively was right about that. This won’t happen without legislative action. Sad but true.
The case is Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, No. 15-1720 (7th Cir. 2016).