On April 4th, a U.S. court of appeals for the first time allowed a claim of sexual orientation employment discrimination to go forward.  The case, Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, was heard by the entire court of appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, and the vote was 8 judges in favor, with 3 dissenting judges.  The decision reversed a ruling by a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit.

The majority opinion in the case relied mainly on U.S. Supreme Court cases disallowing sex stereotyping in employment and same-sex harassment and on the Supreme Court case striking down state laws forbidding persons of different races to marry.

Employers in the state of Texas, which is within the territory of the U.S. court of appeals for the Fifth Circuit, are not directly affected by the decision.  The Fifth Circuit is still bound by a 1979 decision to the contrary, which can only be overruled by the entire court of appeals or by the U.S. Supreme Court, which has never addressed the question of sexual orientation discrimination in employment.