The U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, one step below the Supreme Court, has declared that discrimination against Gay, Lesbian, Bi and Trans people is illegal under the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 as discrimination on the basis of sex, though “sexual orientation” is not spelled out there. If upheld by the Supreme Court in future years, this would accomplish the first and most important goal of the LGBT civil rights movement. (Other circuit courts of equal standing have followed the wording of the act and disallowed claims based on sexual orientation.) The High Court will eventually have to resolve the legal conflict; meanwhile the case before the 7th Circuit, which originated at a community college in Indiana, will not be appealed, so the ruling stands law in three states, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Above: the original manuscript of the act. (Mannie Garcia/Reuters)

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