STATEMENT: CAP’s Winnie Stachelberg Praises Ruling that Says Civil Rights Laws Protect Workers from Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

Washington, D.C. — Today, the full 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects workers from discrimination based on sexual orientation. It is the second time a federal appeals court has ruled that sexual orientation discrimination is a form of sex discrimination. In response, Winnie Stachelberg, executive vice president of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:

This decision is a clear rebuke of the Trump administration’s argument that civil rights laws do not protect LGBT Americans. Workers should be judged on their performance, not on whom they love. Every American, including LGBT people, has the right to be free from discrimination and harassment in the workplace.

Today’s ruling is critical because most states still allow employers to fire workers for no reason other than their sexual orientation. While we welcome today’s ruling, it is still vital that Congress pass the Equality Act and codify clear protections from discrimination for LGBT people from the workplace to the public square.

The Center for American Progress found a staggering 1 in 4 LGBT people reported experiencing discrimination in 2016 and between 11 percent and 28 percent of lesbian, gay, and bisexual workers reported losing a promotion simply because of their sexual orientation.

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For more information or to talk to an expert, please contact Sam Hananel at shananel@americanprogress.org, or 202-478-6327.