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Zarda v. Altitude Express



On May 25, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit granted en banc review in Zarda v. Altitude Express, a New York case in which the plaintiff brought a discrimination claim under Title VII, charging that he was fired for being gay.

Title VII is our federal law that protects against discrimination in employment. GLAD and others have long made the clear, common sense case that the law’s prohibition of discrimination “because of sex” includes protections against sexual orientation discrimination.  While precedent in most of our federal circuit courts has held the opposite, recent developments (including a landmark ruling from the Seventh Circuit earlier this year) show that more and more judges are finding it difficult to deny that sexual orientation discrimination is discrimination “because of sex.”

In granting review in Zarda, the Court specifically invited amicus briefs addressing the question of whether Title VII prohibits sexual orientation discrimination. GLAD has submitted a brief in partnership with NCLR and WilmerHale.