NEW YORK (AP) — A federal appeals court in New York City is getting conflicting advice from the government over whether a civil rights law covers sexual orientation.
The Department of Justice weighed in Wednesday, telling the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sexual orientation is not covered by Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The law bans workplace discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforces the law against private employers and says sexual orientation is covered.
The Department of Justice filed papers saying its position is consistent with prior court rulings and the will of Congress, which has never explicitly included sexual orientation as part of the law. The papers were filed in a case to which the Department of Justice is not a party.
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