Coverage of Maine Decision
The victory is a far-reaching one, say advocates and legal experts, because the federal disability antidiscrimination law, the Americans with Disabilities Act, has kept victims of discrimination from being able to have their day in federal court simply because language in the law and court rulings have insisted that in order to be able to file a suit, a vicitim of discrimination must first be able to show that they have "substantial limitiation in a major life activity" and thus are "truly disabled."
The Maine court's decision was possible because that state's anti-discrimination law, the Maine Human Rights Act, is stronger than the ADA, and is worded in a different manner.* * *
According to the Associated Press, businesses are angry at the ruling and will try to force the legislature to change the Maine Human Rights Law to conform to the weaker federal ADA, which makes victims of disability discrimination a climb a higher hurdle in order to bring a lawsuit.