US: Appeals court extends protection to LGBT workers

A Missouri appeals court on Tuesday ruled that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals may sue for sex discrimination under state law if employers take discriminatory actions against them.

A Missouri Court of Appeals Western District three-judge panel ruled that while employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity is not explicitly prohibited by Missouri law, discrimination based on sex-stereotypes — which may be stereotypes held against LGBTQ individuals — is prohibited as sex discrimination. The decision follows recent federal court opinions that broaden the interpretation of sex discrimination laws to include cases involving both gender identity and sexual orientation.

“If the employer mistreats a male employee because the employer deems the employee insufficiently masculine, it is immaterial whether the male employee is gay or straight,” Judge Anthony Gabbert wrote in the opinion. “The prohibition against sex discrimination extends to all employees, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.” Read more via Columbia Tribune