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Discrimination on the Basis of Sexual Orientation

Can religious organizations discriminate on this basis?


• A federal appeals court ruled that a hospital chaplain could not sue the hospital for alleged age and sex discrimination following her dismissal. The former chaplain was an ordained Episcopal priest who had served as chaplain of a church affiliated hospital for 10 years. Following her dismissal, the former chaplain sued the hospital on the grounds that her dismissal (1) violated the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits certain employers from dismissing employees on the basis of their sex, and (2) violated the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act, which bans discrimination in employment against persons 40 years of age and older—on account of age. A federal district court rejected the former chaplain's claims. In reaching its decisions, the district court emphasized that the hospital was "a church-affiliated institution with substantial religious character," ...

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Richard R. Hammar is an attorney, CPA and author specializing in legal and tax issues for churches and clergy.

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  • March 2, 1992

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