|Attorney General Jeff Sessions|
The U.S. Department of Justice is supporting a New York skydiving company, Altitude Express Inc, in a lawsuit brought by former instructor Donald Zarda, who accused the company of firing him after he told a customer he was gay and she complained. Zarda died in a BASE-jumping accident after filing the lawsuit, and his estate took over the case.
Judges on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals focused their questions on whether discrimination against gay workers is a form of unlawful sex bias under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That law bans discrimination based on workers’ sex, race, religion and other traits.
Lawyers for Zarda’s estate and the EEOC told the court gay workers are protected by Title VII because sexual orientation is necessarily linked to a person’s sex.
LGBT groups say the case is crucial because a victory for Zarda’s estate would deepen a split among Federal appeals courts and increase the chances that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue.
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