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Employee in Same-Sex Civil Union Sues Religious School

The “church autonomy doctrine” did not bar the plaintiff’s claims of discrimination, says court.


Update. After this decision, the religious school sought a “motion for summary judgment” in its favor, again arguing the ministerial exception applied. This time the federal court granted the motion, ruling that the ministerial exception barred it from resolving the former employee’s discrimination claims. Read Richard Hammar’s full analyis of this ruling and what it means for churches and church-run schools.

Key Point 8-12.01 Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers engaged in commerce and having at least 15 employees from discriminating in any employment decision on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, or religion. Religious organizations are exempt from the ban on religious discrimination, but not from the other prohibited forms of discrimination.

A federal court in Indiana ruled that a female counselor at a Catholic school whose ...

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  • October 7, 2021