The US Justice Department urged the federal appeals court in Manhattan to reject a lawsuit from a former skydiving instructor who claimed he was fired for being gay. Rights groups argue that LGBT workers should be protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employment discrimination on basis of sex, race, color, national origin, or religion. Essentially, the Justice Department contends that laws against workplace gender bias do not apply to the LGBT community because of companies that fire workers over sexual orientation will do so whether they are male or female.
This stance goes against a June brief filed by a group of 50 large, multinational companies and organizations arguing that discrimination based on sexual orientation should be illegal, even if that would lead to more employee lawsuits. The Justice Department’s decision came at the heels of President Donald Trump’s announcement that transgender people will not be allowed to serve in the military.