Regional organizations react to LGBTQ appeals court decision

CHICAGO —  LGBTQ rights organizations in the Midwest reacted to this week’s decision by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago saying that the Civil Rights Act protects lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals.

Chris Paulsen, campaign manager of Freedom Indiana, said on Tuesday:

“This is a welcome decision for anyone who has ever been denied a job simply because of who they are. While today’s ruling should give LGBT Hoosiers hope, we still have a long way to go before Indiana truly treats all of its residents equally and fairly under the law. That’s because the state’s 2015 RFRA law still allows discrimination against Hoosiers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations. This is wrong. We at Freedom Indiana will continue our efforts to protect the state’s LGBT population from discrimination.” 

Equality Illinois CEO Brian Johnson released this statement on Tuesday as well:

“In America, we value fairness, equality, and the freedom to be who you are without discrimination. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit made the right decision today that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination in matters of employment regardless of the worker’s sexual orientation. In Illinois, we know the power of such protections because our Human Rights Act already prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

The Associated Press reported that the case stemmed from a lawsuit by Indiana teacher Kimberly Hively alleging that the Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn’t hire her full time because she is a lesbian. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court is actually considered a conservative court with the majority of the judges being appointed by Republicans. The decision came just three weeks after a federal appeals court in Atlanta ruled that employers aren’t prohibited from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation.