• Hively v. Ivy Tech was the first case in which a United States Court of Appeals recognized that sexual orientation is a protected class under the Civil Rights Act of 1964


  • Kimberly Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, 853 F.3d 339 (7th Cir. 2017) (en banc)

Issues & Arguments

  • Does Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prevents employers from discriminating on the basis of sex, also prevent employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation?

People & Organizations



  • The Seventh Circuit held, 8-3, that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects employees from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation
  • The majority held that "sex" includes sexual orientation because an employer cannot fire a woman for doing something it would allow a man to do - in this case, maintain a romantic relationship with a woman; The majority also held that Ivy Tech's actions constituted associational discrimination
  • In a concurring opinion, Judge Flaum, joined by Judge Ripple, held that "sex" only needed to be a motivating factor in the employer's decision and that sex is necessarily a factor of a "same sex" relationship
    • Andrew predicted that the "Flaum and Ripple concurrence" would be the most persuasive opinion for other courts; He was proven right when the Second Circuit decided Zarda v. Altitude Express


  • Ivy Tech did not petition the Supreme Court for certiorari, so the decision is binding only in the Seventh Circuit

Related Cases


Episodes Mentioning the Case
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See also