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Overheard: The Conversation, in Context

"Why do you think there are lesbians?"

—Federal Judge Richard Posner during oral arguments in Hively v. Ivy Tech Community College, discussing whether civil-rights law prohibits job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. A 2013 study examined 117 federal sex-discrimination cases ruled on from 1992 to 2013. Plaintiffs who were thought to be gay by colleagues, and argued they were discriminated against for that reason, lost 97 percent of their cases. Plaintiffs mocked for looking gay — and who emphasized they were discriminated against for being feminine men or masculine women — won 80 percent of theirs.