Supreme Court’s religious employer ruling could weaken LGBTQ protections

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07/11/2020

The Supreme Court’s ruling Wednesday in Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru, which strengthened the legal protections that shield religious institutions from job discrimination lawsuits, could weaken LGBTQ worker protections, according to some legal experts and advocates. The case involved Roman Catholic schools in California that were sued after deciding not to renew contracts for two teachers. In the 7-2 decision, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, the high court held that the “ministerial exception” to nondiscrimination law applies to teachers at religiously affiliated schools whose job includes some element of religious instruction. But while conservatives and “religious freedom” advocates applauded Wednesday’s decision, which they say clarifies the “ministerial exception” to civil rights law, LGBTQ advocates and the court’s liberal dissenters say the ruling opens up the door to employment discrimination by religious institutions.

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