Texas judge guidelines spiritual businesses exempt from LGBTQ predisposition declares
For-profit services with best regards held religions are exempt from LGBTQ discrimination liability under a choice this week by a federal judge in Texas. The judgment Sunday (Oct. 31) came in reaction to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 landmark judgment in Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia, which held that LGBTQ people are protected from discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
The Bostock judgment left open the concern of whether and how the anti-discrimination provisions used to spiritual entities. “But how these doctrines securing spiritual liberty communicate with Title VII are concerns for future cases too,” wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the 2020 bulk opinion.
In response to these questions, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth held that Braidwood Management Inc., which operates three Christian health care companies in Katy, Texas, is exempt from LGBTQ anti-discrimination defenses in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act under both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Presently, Braidwood Management Inc. does not utilize people “who are participated in homosexual behavior or gender non-conforming conduct of any sort,” does not recognize same-sex marital relationship or extend worker advantages to same-sex partners and enforces a sex-specific gown and grooming code, according to court files.
Individually, O’Connor ruled that other spiritual nonprofits, including Bear Creek Bible Church, a nondenominational church in Keller, Texas, can fire or decline to hire LGBTQ workers under Title VII’s spiritual exemptions.
The case occurred after both Briarwood and Bear Creek took legal action against the U.S. Equal Opportunity Commission in response to the Bostock v. Clayton County U.S. Supreme Court decision. This brand-new ruling permits both organizations to continue their employment practices unhindered by fear of liability for LGBTQ discrimination. However, the decision can be interested federal appellate court.
This is the most recent in a series of cases targeted at determining where religious rights end and anti-discrimination protections start. The debate is set to advance Capitol Hill as Congress is anticipated to consider the Equality Act, a sweeping LGBTQ rights bill gone by the House of Representatives in February, and Fairness for All, a competing expense that would prohibit discrimination based on sexual preference and gender identity while carving out spiritual exemptions for faith-based companies.