DOJ files amicus brief that says Title VII does not protect sexual orientation
Posted July 26
The Justice Department filed an amicus brief Wednesday saying that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 does not cover employment "discrimination based on sexual orientation."
The brief was filed in the case of Zarda, Donald v. Altitude Express, Inc et al. Zarda was a skydiving instructor who said he was fired after disclosing his sexual orientation to a customer. He died in a skydiving accident before the case went to trial, and executors of his estate have continued the lawsuit on his behalf.
The DOJ under former President Barack Obama had never gone all the way toward unequivocal affirmative support of sexual orientation being covered under Title VII in lawsuits (it simply allowed the EEOC to make the arguments without incident), and lower federal courts have been split on this issue for years.
Most recently, in April, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the Civil Rights Act prohibits workplace discrimination against employees.