Snowboarders Are Feeling Left Out

Jump., by flickr user Arentas, licensed by Creative Commons.

Shredding

Alta Ski Resort, in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, and the U.S. Forest Service are being sued for discrimination against snowboarders. A group calling themselves Wasatch Equality is carrying out the lawsuit and they say denying snowboarders access to Alta Ski Resort is a violation of the 14th amendment. If Alta Resort operated on privately owned land they would have the ability to deny access to snowboarders. However this situation is very dicey because most ski resorts do not own the mountains that the resorts are on, they rent/manage the land for the State Forestry Department. Currently there are over one hundred other resorts in America on U.S. Forest Service land that allow snowboarding, Alta is the only resort leased from the Forestry Department that does not allow snowboards.

Drew Hicken a plaintiff against Alta feels “Utah is a family state. All our families snowboard. We would like to be able to go to the best resort in the world and share that experience.” Alta claims they are not discriminating against snowboarders the people rather the equipment, the snowboard. Alta’s representation is adamant in saying “This case is about equipment. It’s not about people. It’s about a board.” Others such as Judge Gregory Philips who is residing over this case have prompted the key question of where does the discrimination become necessary stating, “What if I want to take my toboggan down the slope? Would that be an equal protection violation?” This extremely controversial topic and it is very unclear where or how it will end. The federal appeals court is currently hearing out this case and their verdict could set major precedent for similar cases in the future.

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