Author Topic: 'Shocking animus': SCOTUS urged to overturn Washington ruling against religious employers  (Read 116 times)

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Offline PeteS in CA

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'Shocking animus': SCOTUS urged to overturn Washington ruling against religious employers

https://justthenews.com/government/courts-law/shocking-animus-scotus-urged-overturn-washington-ruling-against-religious

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When the Washington Supreme Court gutted protections for religious employers in a state antidiscrimination law, it threw down the gauntlet against both federal law and several federal appeals courts, according to Seattle's Union Gospel Mission (UGM).

The Christian homeless ministry is petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court to review the ruling, and last week several prominent Christian service ministries, Washington state lawmakers, a third of the states and even a Muslim group joined its cause, filing friend-of-the-court briefs.

Bisexual lawyer Matthew Woods sued UGM for not hiring him for its legal aid clinic because he was in a same-sex relationship in violation of its lifestyle rules for employees. The state high court ruled UGM could only apply the rules to "ministerial" employees, not other staff.

Yet the Washington Law Against Discrimination has exempted religious nonprofits since its passage in 1949, and that protection was reaffirmed when sexual orientation was added in 2006, according to a brief by 19 Washington Republican lawmakers, mostly in committee and party leadership.
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The state high court showed "shocking antireligious animus" against UGM and endangered similar organizations as well as private schools and even houses of worship, who are "left without legal protection from intrusive and potentially ruinous employment-related enforcement actions and lawsuits," the GOP lawmakers said.

These groups will suffer "an actual chilling effect" if they have to predict "which of their activities the Washington State Human Rights Commission or a secular court will consider religious." They cited the controlling precedent of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which sided with World Vision for firing technical and office employees who rejected the doctrine of the Trinity.

Because Washington is in the 9th Circuit, the World Vision case applies to this, regardless of whether the USSC ruled on the case.