A landmark legal win in Florida has set a precedent allowing attorneys to question jurors about potential anti-LGBT bias.

Raymond Berthiaume, a gay man, sued of Key West police lieutenant David Smith, alleging Smith used excessive force and falsely arrested and imprisoned him during a 2013 domestic dispute. The jury ruled in Smith’s favor, but in his appeal, Berthiaume claimed that homophobic jurors may have “denied a fair trial by an impartial jury.”

Attorneys for Berthiaume convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit that the case merited a new trial, setting a precedent that will allow lawyers representing LGBT clients to question jurors about anti-gay bias.

The ruling comes more than four years after an appeals court ruled that gays and lesbians can’t be barred from juries based on their sexual orientation alone.

“Refusing to allow questioning of potential jurors regarding sexual orientation bias in cases such as Berthiaume’s, where orientation is inextricably bound up with the evidence presented at trial, violates the constitutional guarantee to a fair trial,” wrote representatives from Lambda Legal.

Whitney Untiedt, a partner at the firm representing Berthiaume pro bono, said the case was an “obvious yes” to take on: “We wanted to stand up and say out loud that you can’t treat LGBT people any differently from anyone else,” she told The National Law Journal.

Samantha Manzella is a writer and copy editor based out of the Hudson Valley. You can find her writing in a coffeehouse or searching Insta for the latest tattoo artist to hit the scene.

@slmjournalist