Supreme Court to Decide if Title VII Protects LGBTQ Communities

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On Monday, April 22, 2019, the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear three cases regarding whether Title VII of the Civil Rights Act protects the LGBTQ communities from discrimination based on sex.

The Act does not specifically mention sexual orientation, gender identity, or transgender status, but many appellate courts and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission have read the prohibition against “sex” as covering these groups of people. Other appellate courts have insisted that the prohibition does not apply to these groups.

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President Obama Signs Executive Order Prohibiting Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Discrimination

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Yesterday, July 21, 2014, President Obama signed an Executive Order which amends prior Executive Orders 11246 and 11478. The amendments expand discrimination protection for federal government employees and contractors, prohibiting discrimination based upon sexual orientation and gender identity. While this Order does not apply to private employers who don’t have qualifying federal contracts or subcontracts, it is similar to the several city ordinances in Idaho that offer protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

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Pocatello Voters Uphold Anti-Discrimination Ordinance

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Yesterday, May 20, 2014, the city of Pocatello held a referendum to allow its voters to decide whether to repeal its ordinance prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The people of Pocatello narrowly retained the ordinance, 4,885 voting to retain, and 4,738 voting to repeal the local ordinance.

Pocatello is currently one of seven Idaho cities with this type of local ordinance and the first to put its ordinance up for a popular vote.

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