|Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. A federal appeals court in Chicago ruled that the act protects gay employees from job discrimination. (Credit: Mannie Garcia/Reuters)|
In a significant victory for gay rights, a federal appeals court in Chicago ruled Tuesday [April 4, 2017] that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects gay workers from job discrimination, expanding workplace protections in the landmark law to include sexual orientation.
The decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the highest federal court yet to grant such employment protections, raises the chances that the politically charged issue may ultimately be resolved by the Supreme Court. While an appeal is not expected in this case, another appellate court, in Georgia, last month reached the opposite conclusion, saying that the law does not prohibit discrimination at work for gay employees.
The ruling on Tuesday comes as gay rights advocates have voiced concern about the potential rollback of protections under President Trump. While the Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, many other legal protections, including in employment and housing, have not been extended at all levels to gay people.
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