(Reuters) – A U.S. judge ruled on Thursday that a transgender woman could move forward with a sex discrimination lawsuit against her employer under the Americans with Disabilities Act, even though it explicitly excludes transgender people from protection.
The plaintiff, Kate Lynn Blatt, becomes the first transgender person to be allowed to sue under the ADA for gender dysphoria, according to her Philadelphia-based lawyer, Neelima Vanguri.
But U.S. District Judge Joseph Leeson avoided ruling on the constitutionality of the ADA, as the plaintiffs had sought, under the legal principle that courts should avoid decisions on constitutional grounds if possible.
Being transgender is not considered a disorder by the American Psychiatric Association, but it can give rise to gender dysphoria, a type of anxiety that may require medical treatment. Gender dysphoria forms Blatt’s basis for making a claim under the ADA.
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