Limits on State Gay Rights Law

Appeals court rules federal labor law might preempt Massachusetts civil rights protections

A federal appeals court in Boston, in a ruling pointing up the limits of the protection afforded by state gay rights laws, has ruled that a gay discrimination claim filed with a Massachusetts state agency against a labor union and its members may have to be stopped because of federal labor relations law.

The ruling held open the possibility that anti-gay harassment might be protected by federal labor law, even if banned by state law.

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