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Title VII and Church Employment Practices

How the Supreme Court’s interpretation of Title VII’s term “sex” affects church employment.

Title VII and Church Employment Practices
Image: Image: Illustration by Vasil Nazar / Source Images: GettyImages / Flaticon

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects workers from discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Since Title VII’s inception, the statute has included an exemption for “religious organizations.”

This exemption became more critical for many churches after the US Supreme Court recently interpreted Title VII’s term “sex” to include sexual orientation, sexual perception, gender identity, and transgender individuals (Bostock v. Clayton County, 140 S. Ct. 1731 (2020). But, the Supreme Court stated that its decision should not apply to religious organizations.

The Court’s words regarding the religious exemption bring little comfort to many in the religious community. But the Court did not indicate how it might rule regarding the religious exemption and the new definition of “sex.” Churches and the courts ...

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Posted:
  • September 16, 2022

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