Reprinted from Bloomberg News by Erik Larson on September 26, 2017.
The US law that has protected workers from gender and racial bias for more than half a century should not be extended to cover gay and lesbian employees because that isn’t what Congress envisioned when it passed the bill, Trump administration lawyers told a federal appeals court.
Judges must interpret laws based on lawmakers’ intent, and Congress didn’t have the LGBT community in mind when it crafted Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Justice Department attorney Hashim Mooppan argued on Tuesday in Manhattan. The agency made its case in defense of a New York skydiving company accused of firing a worker for being gay.
“Every circuit court for 50 years has said this isn’t covered,” Mooppan said at the hearing in Manhattan, referring to sexual orientation. He then compared the situation to an employer firing a worker for having an affair or being promiscuous, scenarios that he said have both been deemed legal. …