CHICAGO (AP) -- A federal appeals court ruled for the first time Tuesday that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBT employees from workplace discrimination, setting up a likely battle before the Supreme Court as gay rights advocates push to broaden the scope of the 53-year-old law.
The decision by the full 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago comes just three weeks after a three-judge panel in Atlanta ruled the opposite, saying employers aren't prohibited from discriminating against employees based on sexual orientation.
It also comes as President Donald Trump's administration has begun setting its own policies on LGBT rights. Late in January, the White House declared Trump would enforce an Obama administration order barring companies that do federal work from workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual identity. But in February, it revoked guidance on transgender students' use of public school bathrooms, deferring to states.
The case stems from a lawsuit by Indiana teacher Kimberly Hively alleging that the Ivy Tech Community College in South Bend didn't hire her full time because she is a lesbian.