Don Zarda Wiki – Don Zarda Biography
Donald Zarda worked as a skydiving instructor at Altitude Express in New York. He’d worked for “several seasons” with the company, according to the SCOTUS decision document, which says, “Mr. Zarda mentioned that he was gay and, days later, was fired.” That was in 2010.
Don Zarda Age
She was 44 years old.
Don Zarda Family
She has a sister Melissa Zarda, she wrote of his plight in Time in July 2019. Melissa said that her brother Don came out to his family as gay when he was in his twenties.
She said when he came out to the family, “I remember him looking at us expectantly after sharing the news, waiting for our reaction,” she wrote. “We were all more than ready to accept him for who he was.”
Donald Zarda Fired
Melissa also wrote about Zarda getting fired due to his sexuality:
Here we go. @USATODAY’s frontpage with a clear and powerful headline. This is what all this is about- and firing people just because they are LGBTQ is wrong, immoral but more importantly unlawful. I hope #SCOTUS arrive to that decision. On my way to DC to witness this day! 🏛 pic.twitter.com/UhtVPA6nMs
— Samy Nemir-Olivares (@Samynemir) October 8, 2019
Don Zarda Career
Don was living his dream as a skydiving instructor at Altitude Express out of Long Island, New York. He often did tandem jumps with new skydivers, in which they would be strapped together. On one, he offhandedly mentioned to a female student that he was gay in an effort to make her more comfortable with their close physical contact.
Melissa ended up deeply entrenched in the discrimination lawsuit because Zarda died on Oct. 3, 2014, in a base jumping accident at 44-years-old. Base jumping means jumping off of a fixed object like a cliff or glacier while wearing a parachute that is deployed on the way down. Melissa carried on with the lawsuit in her brother’s memory.
Donald Zarda Death
According to his obituary, Don Zarda, 44, died on Oct. 3, 2014, in Switzerland. He was an electrician and IT professional, but his passion was in skydiving and base jumping. His obit said, in part:
Donald Zarda skydiver
An experienced skydiver, Don excelled at every discipline of the sport. He helped thousands create memorable life experiences while serving as a licensed tandem master and skydive instructor at dropzones worldwide. An airplane pilot, he also dedicated his life to BASE jumping as a member of an elite group of wingsuit athletes. Don had a big smile and an even bigger personality. His spirit, enthusiasm, and infectious laughter electrified those around him. He enjoyed sharing his adventures with loved ones, and especially relished encouraging others to experience adventures of their own. An intelligent, generous, fun, and truly unique person, Don made friends across the globe. He will be sorely missed by his family, friends, and everyone in the BASE community.
Don Zarda in landmark SCOTUS Decision
In a landmark decision Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people in the United States cannot be fired for being gay or transgender. The case had three different plaintiffs, Aimee Stephens, Don Zarda, and Gerald Bostock, all of whom were fired on the basis of their sexuality.
In SCOTUS’s ruling, they said, “An employer who fires an individual merely for being gay or transgender violates Title VII,” which makes it “unlawful . . . for an employer to fail or refuse to hire or to discharge any individual, or otherwise to discriminate against any individual . . . because of such individual’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”
According to SCOTUS’s opinion on the historic decision, while the Civil Rights Act of 1964 may not have been written to include the LGTBQ community, “the limits of the drafters’ imaginations” are no reason to “ignore the law’s demands.” They wrote:
Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear. An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.
Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees. But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands.