by Chris Johnson
Originally published: May 19, 2017
A federal court for the first time has ruled transgender people can sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act, despite the law’s explicit exclusion of claims based on gender identity.
U.S. District Judge Joseph Gleeson, an Obama-appointed judge in Pennsylvania, determined in a six-page decision a case filed by transgender plaintiff Kate Lynn Blatt filed against Cabela’s Retail, Inc., can proceed because she meets the conditions of the 1990 law.
“[I]t is fairly possible to interpret the term gender identity disorders narrowly to refer to simply the condition of identifying with a different gender, not to exclude from ADA coverage disabling conditions that persons who identify with a different gender may have — such as Blatt’s gender dysphoria, which substantially limits her major life activities of interacting with others, reproducing, and social and occupational functioning,” Gleeson writes.