The decision is a loss for the Justice Department, which argued that a 1964 civil rights law doesn’t protect gay workers.
“A woman who is subject to an adverse employment action because she is attracted to women would have been treated differently if she had been a man who was attracted to women,” the majority wrote in an opinion led by Judge Robert Katzmann. “We can therefore conclude that sexual orientation is a function of sex and, by extension, sexual orientation discrimination is a subset of sex discrimination.”
Lynch wrote that Title VII “was intended to secure the rights of women to equal protection in employment” and that Congress “did not then prohibit, and alas has not since prohibited, discrimination based on sexual orientation.”
“Time and time again,” Lohier wrote, “the Supreme Court has told us that the cart of legislative history is pulled by the plain text, not the other way around. The text here pulls in one direction, namely, that sex includes sexual orientation.”
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