Emory Law Journal


Devon Sherrell


In 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, became the first U.S. circuit court to hold that Title VII prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals in employment on the basis of sexual orientation. Given that many federal antidiscrimination statutes are interpreted in line with Title VII, the Hively decision may extend sexual orientation discrimination protections to a variety of areas. However, since the Supreme Court¿s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby now allows private businesses to seek religious exemptions under RFRA, it is possible that private businesses might seek to avoid complying with Title VII¿s sex discrimination prohibition on the basis of religious objection. This Comment examines the relationship between Title VII and RFRA and argues that expanding the Hively court¿s interpretation of Title VII is the most promising method for protecting against sexual orientation discrimination nationwide.