Connecticut Law Review Volume 43 - Issue 4

The Intersex Community and the Americans with Disabilities Act

Members of the intersex community have largely been absent from the civil rights legal discourse and do not constitute a protected class. Consequently, such individuals often face varying levels of discrimination such as stereotyping, medicalizing, pathologizing, and societal misunderstandings. With the passage of the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, Congress significantly expanded the statute. Under the amendments, more people qualify as individuals with disabilities protected by federal disability law, prompting the question of how federal disability law may be a source of protection for intersex individuals. This Note explores the recently amended Americans with Disabilities Act [ADA] and addresses whether intersex individuals can be considered qualified individuals with a disability under the ADA. Examining the components of the statute as well as the recent amendments, this Note also discusses whether federal disability law may be an optimal avenue for advancing the sociopolitical rights and public perceptions of the intersex community. This Note presents arguments supporting and opposing the application of the ADA to protect intersex individuals in such areas as housing, employment, and public accommodation. It also examines the merits of applying the ADA to intersex individuals through an examination of analogous arguments made with respect to state disability laws used to advance transgender rights. Ultimately, this Note explores how the ADA may be the only possible source of protection for an often hidden and forgotten community in immediate need of these protections.

:: View PDF