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

Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation

§ 8.21.02
Key Point 8-21.02. Many state civil rights laws prohibit employers with a specified number of employees from discriminating in any employment decision on the basis of the sexual orientation of an employee or applicant for employment. Such laws generally exempt religious organizations.

Several states have enacted laws prohibiting employers from discriminating against employees and applicants for employment on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Many contain an explicit exemption for religious organizations. Even without such an exemption, it is unlikely that the civil courts would apply such a law to the relationship between a church and its ministers because of a 2012 ruling by the United States Supreme Court affirming the "ministerial ...

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