Sexual Orientation

No sex discrimination or violation of privacy rights when trans students use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity

The Third Circuit entertained and rejected a claim by cisgender students (whose gender identity corresponds to the gender assigned at birth) that their constitutional rights to privacy and their statutory rights to be free from sex discrimination were violated when trans students were allowed to use bathrooms corresponding to their gender identity....

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Another federal court rules that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

Gavin Grimm is a man who was denied the right to use the men’s restrooms in a public school in Virginia because the school classified him as a woman based on his birth designation. U.S. District Court Judge Judge Arenda l. Wright Allen held that this constituted discrimination on the basis of sex in violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681-1688, the federal law that prohibits sex discrimination in any educational institution...

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Courts expand “sex” discrimination laws to include prohibitions on sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination

Two recent Circuit Court cases create a conflict among the Circuits on the question of whether sexual orientation or gender identity discrimination is a form of “sex discrimination.” While the 11th Circuit and most other Circuits holds that it is not (see Evans v. Georgia Regional Hospital, 850 F>3d 1248 (11th Cir. 2017)), the Second and Sixth Circuits have issued rulings to the contrary. ...

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Oregon Appeals Court affirms application of state public accommodations law to cake shop that refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple

In Klein v. Or. Bureau of Labor & Indus., 2017 Ore.App. LEXIS 1598 (2017), the Court of Appeals of Oregon affirmed an administrative finding that Sweetcakes by Melissa violated the state public accommodations law when it refused to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple. The case is similar to the Masterpiece Cakeshop case currently being considered by the US Supreme Court because the cake shop based its claim on the...

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Supreme Court will decide whether a bakery must sell wedding cake to a same-sex couple as required by Colorado public accommodations law

On June 26, 2017, the Supreme Court took certiorari in this case under the name, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colo. Civil Rights Comm'n. (No. 16-111).

The Colorado Court of Appeals has affirmed the Civil Rights Division's that a bakery must sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples if they would ordinarily do so to male-female couples. ...

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First Amendment protects right to federal registration of offensive trademarks that disparage a person or group

The Supreme Court held that the First Amendment prohibits enforcement of a provision of the Lanham Act that purports to deny the benefits of trademark registration to names or marks that "disparage" a person or "bring [them] into contempt or disrepute." Matal v. Tam,2017 WL 2621315 (U.S. 2017); 15 U.S.C. §1502(a) (Lanham Act). The Court held that "this provision violates the Free Speech Clause of the First...

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Seventh Circuit holds that transgender discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

Applying Title IX of the Education Amendments Act of 1972, 20 U.S.C. §1681, as well as the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, a three judge panel of the Seventh Circuit has ruled that a school must allow a transgender boy to use the boy's bathroom, holding that discrimination on the basis of gender idenitty is a form of sex discrimination. Whitaker v....

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Sexual orientation discrimination as a form of sex discrimination

While the West Virginia Supreme Court adopted the traditional view that discrimination because of sexual orientation is not a form of sex discrimination, State v. Butler, 2017 W. Va. LEXIS 333 (W.Va. 2017) (hate crime against two gay men did not constitute criminal civil rights violation willfully injuring a person "because of such other person's … sex"), the Seventh Circuit came to the...

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Another court holds that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination

A federal district court has held that discrimination because of sexual orientation is a form of sex discrimination. EEOC v. Scott Med. Health Ctr., P.C., 2016 U.S. DIst. LEXIS 153744 (W.D. Pa. 2016). Plaintiff complained of a sexually hostile work environment by deriding his sexual orientation. The court noted that "[t]here is no more obvious form of sex stereotyping than making a detemination that a person should...

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