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National

The next big fight over transgender rights

Opening sequence

Opening sequence

National

The next big fight over transgender rights

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18:45
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COMING UP:The next big fight over transgender rights

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Transcript

00:00:00
>> It's just all I've known, it's who I've always been. I wanted to be able to be me. I didn't wanna be trapped like I was as a guy. I wanted to be able to express myself as a woman. Caitlin Blatt once lived as a woman at home but went to work as a man.
00:00:16
Until she decided to be herself as she says, all the time. She applied for a new job with the retail chain Cabela's as a woman and got it.>> So, all of a sudden I got to find my own identity. I got to find my own comfort zone.
00:00:29
My God, you wanted it was the most liberating thing I've ever experienced in my entire life and then slam. Employee discrimination.>> I'm Daniel Trotta in Hamburg, Pennsylvanian outside a gun and outdoor store that's in the center of a constitutional battle for transgender equal rights.>> Shame.>> Along with the North Carolina bathroom law this case is at the forefront of the Civil Rights movement for transgender people.
00:00:54
Blatt say she was harassed and discriminated against for being transgender at Cabela's, where she says she was called insulting names and denied use of the women's bathroom. She also claims she was required to wear a name tag calling her James, even after she'd legally changed her name, and her gender, in the eyes of the State of Pennsylvania.
00:01:13
Cabela's says she was fired for threatening a coworker, a claim Blatt denies. Besides seeking damages for herself, Blatt wants to change the law for transgender people. Her legal team is targeting a portion of the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act.>> The ADA was written to grant full rights for people with disabilities, but it explicitly excludes transgender people.
00:01:35
Blatt and her lawyers are asking a federal court judge to strike down that portion of the law saying it's unconstitutional for violating the 14th amendment guarantee to equal protection under the law. When Congress passed the law in 1990, lawmakers equated gender identity disorder with pedophilia and other deviant behavior, barring the condition of being transgender, from protection as a disability.
00:01:57
Being transgender is no longer considered a disability by the American Psychiatric Association, but it can give rise to a type of anxiety called gender dysphoria, which can require medical treatment and should also be covered. Transgender advocates say.>> The countless people's lives that it has impacted. I can't even imagine how many people have suffered because they wrote that into the law like that.
00:02:20
>> Blatt's lawyers are asking a federal judge to strike down that portion of the law by ruling it unconstitutional. That will be tested at the next step of the case, due at any time, when a judge will rule on the Cabela's request to dismiss Blatt's claims under ADA.
00:02:35
If the judge finds the language in the ADA unconstitutional it would mark a victory in the transgender civil rights in America.