NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Justice Department is arguing that federal civil rights law does not protect gays, and one local attorney feels it is a political argument rather than a legal one.

As WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell reported, the argument is coming from U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

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“You know he is an extreme conservative,” said attorney Greg Antolino.

The law imparts discrimination based on sex, and does not explicitly include sexual orientation.

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“You’re not attempting to expand the coverage or attempting to read the statutes such that it includes the coverage,” Antolino said.

Antolino represented the late Don Zarda, a Long Island skydiving company employee who was fired in 2010 after his boss found out he was gay.

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The Justice Department filed the brief saying sexual orientation is no protected under civil rights law in connection with the Zarda case, which is now being heard by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.