A jury ruled Friday against two former players on the Pepperdine University women’s basketball team who claimed they faced discrimination from their coach in 2014 because they were dating.
The jury said there was not enough evidence to determine that the university targeted the plaintiffs, Layana White and Haley Videckis, based on their sexual orientation.
But the case marked one of the first times that a discrimination claim based on sexual orientation went to trial under the landmark Title IX law. In 2015, a federal judge in California ruled that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation falls under the purview of Title IX, giving a broader interpretation to the 1972 statute that prohibits sex discrimination in the nation’s schools and colleges.
That ruling allowed White and Videckis to proceed with their lawsuit, alleging that the university harassed and discriminated against them because they were dating. According to the complaint, they said the coach wanted them off the team because their lesbian relationship “would cause the team to lose games.”
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