This past week, a federal judge in California ruled that the federal ban on sex discrimination under Title IX law, includes sexual orientation discrimination.
The decision follows a lawsuit which was brought by two women who attended Pepperdine University in Malibu, California who allege that because of their sexual orientation, the university “discriminated against and harassed them” according to a Los Angeles Times article.
Haley Videckis and Layana White were two former players on the college’s women’s basketball team and claim that the coach wanted them off their team because the two were in a relationship.
According to the LA Times, the judge initally sided with Pepperdine University, citing in the suit that ”the line between discrimination based on gender stereotyping and discrimination based on sexual orientation is blurry at best.”
On Dec. 15, Judge Dean Pregerson allowed Videckis and White to amend their suit and reversed his earlier decision because he was not able “to distinguish sexual orientation from sex and gender discrimination.”
“Claims of discrimination based on sexual orientation are covered by Title VII and IX” — “not as a category of independent claims separate from sex and gender stereotype,” but instead because “claims of sexual orientation discrimination are gender stereotype or sex discrimination claims,” Pregerson ruled in the suit.