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NY Skydive Teacher Claims Being Gay Got Him Fired

NEW YORK (AP) -- A gay skydiving instructor was claiming in court that he was fired because he joked with a customer that his sexual orientation meant that she didn't have to worry about him taking advantage of their intimate position while strapped together for a tandem jump.

The lawsuit filed last week in Brooklyn federal court claims that Donald Zarda was fired because of his sexual orientation. It said Zarda's employer told him the customer complained Zarda had touched her inappropriately.

Zarda's lawyer Gregory Antollino said the customer was homophobic and instructors routinely made such jokes to reduce awkwardness while strapped chest-to-back and pelvis-to-pelvis.

Saul Zabell, the lawyer for the owner of Skydive Long Island in Calverton, told the New York Post Zarda was fired not because he's gay but because of "inappropriate behavior in the workplace."

(Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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