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U.S. Court Considers Potentially Landmark LGBT Housing Case

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Marsha Wetzel, photo via Lambda Legal.

(SS) A federal appeals court is considering a 70-year-old woman's potentially landmark case that alleges a Chicago-area senior living center did nothing to stop residents from hurling slurs, spitting on her and physically harassing her because of her sexual orientation.

The 7th U.S. Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Marsha Wetzel's case on Tuesday.

The hearing comes a year after a lower court dismissed Wetzel's lawsuit. If the appeals court reinstates it, the case could help establish that federal Fair Housing Act protections extend to LGBT tenants.

Wetzel's partner of 30 years died in 2013, and Wetzel moved to Glen Saint Andrew Living Community in Niles. One resident allegedly told her "homosexuals will burn in hell."

The lower court concluded Wetzel hadn't shown administrators displayed "any discriminatory animus, motive or intent."

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