Laws and other government actions that treat people differently based on their sexual orientation will face additional scrutiny from courts in nine western states, under a January court ruling that a national LGBT rights group said Friday night is not being appealed.

The major victory for LGBT advocates announced by the Human Rights Campaign actually played out in a dispute between two pharmaceutical companies, SmithKline Beecham and Abbott Laboratories, and involved whether gay people could be kept off a jury in a trial involving HIV drugs.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals — whose decisions apply to all federal courts in Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington — said no. In doing so, however, Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote a decision that could have wide-ranging and long-last effects on LGBT rights more broadly — from marriage to employment and beyond.

In the January ruling, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held — in light of the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act last year — that “classifications based on sexual orientation … are subject to heightened scrutiny.”


Originally posted to MTmofo on Fri Mar 07, 2014 at 11:31 PM PST.

Also republished by Milk Men And Women and LGBT Kos Community.

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