President Barack Obama during his tenure had enacted protections by law to find that“sexual orientation is inherently a ‘sex-based consideration.’” The current President Trump was determined to change that and the issue was brought up before the courts in a landmark civil rights case which bars employers from discriminating against their workers based on sexual orientation.
President Trump had intervened in a discrimination lawsuit filed by a sky-diving instructor and argued that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act did not explicitly cover sexual-orientation discrimination in the workplace. This is despite the separation of powers doctrine that is in place and was, therefore, a stance that put it at odds with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit rejected the notion that sexual-orientation discrimination was not covered in the Civil Rights Act. It was determined that “race, color, religion, sex or national origin,” should also be extended to include sexual orientation. An appellate court in Atlanta has ruled the opposite.
The issue is still largely a political one as the ruling could create a scenario in which the issue of gay rights at work will be decided by a Supreme Court. The Supreme Court nomination choice of Justice is Neil M. Gorsuch and so has the weight and bearing of Trump attached.
For now, the private party that lost the case has not decided whether the Supreme Court will decide the case or not, in a review of the decision. Continue reading