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USA judge allows first transgender person to sue under disability law (CAB)

21 Mai 2017

As Reuters notes, a usa district judge has ruled that a transgender woman can proceed with a sexual discrimination lawsuit that she brought against her employer, Cabela's Inc., back in 2014. Though sought by the plaintiffs, Leeson did not rule on the constitutionality of the ADA, under the legal principle that courts should avoid decisions on constitutional grounds if possible, Reuters reported.

Leeson ruled in a suit filed by Kate Lynn Blatt, who had claimed she was sacked from a Cabela's store in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, because of her sex and disability.

Leeson also said the law should be broadly construed to give people with disabilities recourse to pursue discrimination claims.

"It's a great step forward", Blatt said Friday.

Being transgender is not considered a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association but it can give rise to gender dysphoria, a type of anxiety that may require medical treatment. She was sacked, she said, when Cabela's alleged she threatened a co-worker's child during an altercation at work, an accusation Blatt denies. Blatt worked at the Hamburg store in 2006 and 2007. The company previously declined to comment because the litigation was pending.

The ADA was passed in 1990 as a landmark law protecting people with disabilities.

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The ADA says the term "disability" does not include "transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders".

The lawsuit, which also cites protections in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against sex discrimination in employment, had asked the judge to rule that the ADA clause violates the U.S. Constitution because it denies equal protection under the law.

'Other courts will look to this decision, ' Vanguri said.

U.S. District Judge Joseph F. Leeson Jr. denied the hunting, fishing and outdoor products retailer's request to dismiss former employee Kate Lynn Blatt's two ADA claims for disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation.

"I'm hopeful we will be able to expand civil rights for transgender people just a little", said attorney Neelima Vanguri.

USA judge allows first transgender person to sue under disability law (CAB)