Businesses Exempt from Homosexual Bias Claims

“For-profit businesses with sincerely held religious beliefs are exempt from LGBTQ discrimination liability under a decision this week by a federal judge in Texas. The ruling Sunday (Oct. 31) came in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2020 landmark ruling 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 ruling left open the question of whether and how the anti-discrimination provisions applied to religious entities. ‘But how these doctrines protecting religious liberty inter­act with Title VII are questions for future cases too,’ wrote Justice Neil Gorsuch in the 2020 majority opinion. In answer to these questions, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Fort Worth held that Braidwood Management Inc., which operates three Christian health care businesses in Katy, Texas, is exempt from LGBTQ anti-discrimination protections in Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act under both the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Separately, O’Connor ruled that other religious nonprofits, including Bear Creek Bible Church, a nondenominational church in Keller, Texas, can fire or refuse to hire LGBTQ employees under Title VII’s religious exemptions. This new ruling allows both organizations to continue their employment practices unhindered by fear of liability for LGBTQ discrimination. However, the decision can be appealed to federal appellate court.”

Religion News Service, Nov. 4, 2021