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Philadelphia Discrimination Lawyers Gain Support of LGBT-Advocacy Groups in Supreme Court Case

February 11th, 2015

Philadelphia discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are pleased to announce that six LGBT-advocacy groups have submitted an amicus brief in support of client Kate Blatt’s case challenging the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)  The six groups filed the brief with the Supreme Court in a joint effort to ensure that the court is aware of the broader implications that its decision in Blatt’s case will have.

Kate Blatt filed a federal lawsuit against her former employer, Cabela’s, for job discrimination.  As part of the suit, Blatt and her attorneys at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are challenging a clause in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that excludes individuals with gender-identity disorder (GID) from ADA protection against discrimination.  Currently this exclusion prohibits transgender individuals from asserting ADA claims.

The six LGBT-advocacy groups who have acted in support of Blatt’s case are Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, Mazzoni Center, National Center for Lesbian Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National LGBTQ Task Force and Transgender Law Center.

The amicus brief asserts that when the ADA was written in 1989, Congress mistakenly believed that gender-identity disorder was a type of sexual-behavior disorder.  In fact, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) removed gender-identity disorder from its diagnostic manual in 2013 and added gender dysphoria, clarifying that the condition is not a sexual-behavior disorder.  Gender dysphoria refers to an identity conflict in which a person’s physical gender differs from the gender he or she identifies with.

The amicus brief filed on behalf of the LGBT advocacy groups supports Blatt’s claim that the exclusion of GID from ADA protection is unconstitutional.  The brief does not suggest that all transgender individuals are disabled; however, those who are should be entitled to the same protection granted to other disabled people under the ADA.  The brief supports Blatt’s claim that the ADA exclusion represents a form of legal prejudice against people with gender dysphoria.

U.S. District Judge Jeffrey L. Schmehl will decide whether or not the court will consider the brief.

Philadelphia employment lawyer, Neelima Vanguri, of Sidney L. Gold & Associates, has expressed gratitude to the members of the LGBT-advocacy groups who are actively supporting her client’s case.

Philadelphia discrimination lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates are dedicated to fighting for employee rights and equal justice.  Call our Philadelphia law office at 215-569-1999, or contact us online

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