Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was not enacted to protect the LGBT community and has never been consistently enforced to prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. Although some courts have stretched to include protections for the LGBT community under this statute, that federal law fails to protect the LGBT community from workplace discrimination has largely been taken for granted.
But last summer the Supreme Court of the United States held that persons cannot be denied the fundamental right to marry merely because they are not heterosexual. And so the tension occurred: a same-sex couple may marry on Saturday, but their employer has the right to fire them for that very act on Monday. The Seventh Circuit in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College agreed: despite Obergefell v. Hodges, Title VII still does not prohibit sexual orientation discrimination. This note explores whether and how this inequity can be resolved. So long as members of the LGBT community must hide their identities in order to protect their jobs, the fundamental right to marry will come with an asterisk.
Symone D. Shinton,
Married on Saturday, Fired on Monday: The Seventh Circuit Attempts to Navigate LGBT Rights After Obergefell,
Seventh Circuit Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/seventhcircuitreview/vol12/iss1/3