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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

The Relevance of Sexual Orientation in Selecting Youth or Children’s Workers

§ 10.04.04
Key point 10-04.04. The courts have generally ruled, in recent years, that homosexuals are no more likely than heterosexuals to molest children. Churches may be liable for the sexual misconduct of any employee or volunteer, regardless of sexual orientation, on the basis of negligence in the selection, retention, or supervision of that person.

Does the use of homosexual adults as volunteers in a church's youth or children's program expose the church to an increased risk of liability? A number of courts have ruled, in recent years, that homosexuality does not disqualify someone from working with minors. Consider the following illustrative cases:

(1) Doe v. British Universities N.A. Club, 788 F. Supp. 1286 (D. Conn. 1992)

A federal district court in Connecticut rejected the argument that child molestation was a "foreseeable consequence of sexual orientation," noting that there ...

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