DOJ argues sexual orientation not covered by anti-discrimination laws

DOJ argues sexual orientation not covered by anti-discrimination laws

[Ed. – Expect this to go further.]

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is arguing that sexual discrimination protections in the workplace do not extend to sexual orientation.

The department filed a 36-page amicus brief late Wednesday in the case Donald Zarda brought against his former employer alleging that he was fired from his job as a skydiving instructor because of his sexual orientation.

The DOJ said the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals based in New York should reaffirm precedent, consistent with the longstanding position of the department, that the law “does not reach discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

“The essential element of sex discrimination under Title VII is that employees of one sex must be treated worse than similarly situated employees of the other sex, and sexual orientation discrimination simply does not have that effect,” the department argued.

“Moreover, whatever this Court would say about the question were it writing on a blank slate, Congress has made clear through its actions and inactions in this area that Title VII’s prohibition of sex discrimination does not encompass sexual orientation discrimination.”

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