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Clergy Removal

A federal appeals court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a claim that a church had engaged in unlawful sex discrimination.

Key point 2-04.1. Most courts have concluded that they are barred by the first amendment guarantees of religious freedom and nonestablishment of religion from resolving challenges by dismissed clergy to the legal validity of their dismissals.
Church Members

* A federal appeals court ruled that it was barred by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving a claim that a church had engaged in unlawful sex discrimination by dismissing a non-ordained female youth pastor because of her "marriage" to another woman. An Episcopal church hired a female youth pastor (Lee Ann) whose job description was to direct a youth program incorporating "fellowship, education, service, and worship." The church did not require its youth pastor to be a member of its denomination, but it did require that the youth pastor have "a belief that Jesus is Lord and an ability to share that with ...

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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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Posted:
  • May 1, 2003

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