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Court Blocks Federal Civil Rights Agency From Suing Christian-Owned Business Over LGBT Firings

Court Blocks Federal Civil Rights Agency From Suing Christian-Owned Business Over LGBT Firings

“Being forced to employ someone to represent the company who behaves in a manner directly violative of the company’s convictions is a substantial burden,” the three-judge panel of Republican appointees found.

A federal appeals court has barred the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) from suing a Christian business owner who vowed to fire “individuals who engage in behavior he considers sexually immoral or gender non-conforming.” The business owner, Steven Hotze, operates “his [subsidiary] corporations as ‘Christian’ businesses,” despite none of the corporations having an expressly religious mandate.

Hotze’s for-profit business, Braidwood Management, sought an exemption from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars discrimination in employment “on the basis of sex.” As interpreted by the Supreme Court in 2020, employment discrimination “on the basis of sex” includes “fir[ing] an individual merely for being gay or transgender.”

The business owner persuaded the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) compelled the EEOC to grant him an exemption from Title VII. RFRA provides that

(a) IN GENERAL.—Government shall not substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion even if the burden results from a rule of general applicability, except as provided in subsection (b).
(b) EXCEPTION.—Government may substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion only if it demonstrates that application of the burden to the person—

(1) is in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest; and
(2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

The court, quoting the lower court’s framing of the issue, found enforcing Title VII against Braidwood would substantially burden Braidwood’s religious practice:

“[E]mployers are required to choose between two untenable alternatives: either (1) violate Title VII and obey their convictions or (2) obey Title VII and violate their convictions.” We see no reason why that formulation is incorrect. Being forced to employ someone to represent the company who behaves in a manner directly violative of the company’s convictions is a substantial burden and inhibits the practice of Braidwood’s beliefs. (footnotes omitted)

The court then considered whether the burden imposed by Title VII was “in furtherance of a compelling governmental interest.” The EEOC claimed a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination in the workplace, which the court rejected:

Although the Supreme Court may some day determine that preventing commercial businesses from discriminating on factors specific to sexual orientation or gender identity is such a compelling government interest that it overrides religious liberty in all cases, it has never so far held that.

The court noted that even if the EEOC had articulated a compelling interest in eliminating discrimination in the workplace, Title VII enforcement action against Braidwood would not be “the least restrictive means of promoting that interest.”

The EEOC, according to the court, could further its interest by “propagating guidance that provides a framework for employers, like Braidwood, that oppose homosexual or transgender behavior on religious grounds, to obtain an exemption.”

The EEOC told Legal Insurrection it was reviewing the decision, declined to comment, and referred further questions to the Department of Justice.


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All this has been nothing more than the march of the pedophiles:

“We’re here, we’re queer and we’re coming for your children!”

    Yep, It was always about the children, and we see how our anti-American school system has launched that assault on numerous levels.

    It took full flight under the guise of AIDS in the 1980s, and they never looked back. Phony sympathy for AIDS victims, led by Oprah Winfrey, poisoned the well as suburban mothers drank greedily of the poisoned cup Oprah gave them every week.

    Welcome to Sodom and Gomorrah.

The excesses of the woke weirdo lefties particularly in their bizarrely ahistorical demand that others must embrace and celebrate as opposed to display mere tolerance for their lifestyle choices seems to be hitting its limits. The judiciary, at least in some quarters, is finally doing what should have been a decade or more ago; telling them no, you can’t make others live their lives through your ‘truth’ or impose your views on the rest of us to the point we can’t live our own ‘truth’.

    We can thank Roberts and Gorsuch for what they did in ‘Bostock’. This ruling seems in conflict with the Supreme Court’s ruling in that decision,

    Title VII, the “gift” that keeps giving.

      The Gentle Grizzly in reply to Don. | June 24, 2023 at 5:25 pm

      The entire 1964 CRA has morphed into a nightmare. We’re he alive, I’d relish the idea of seeing Hubert Humphrey ‘eating this bill, page by page’, in reply to those who rightly predicted what this bill became.

      The same sentiment applies to the 1965 voting rights act. I don’t think there’s any provision in the to set aside congressional districts for block people. But, here we are.

        As if only a back can represent a black. And as usual, the Supreme Court makes a mess of the law because that is what they so often do. As in applying the 14th to non-governmental people.

        Much of our lawlessness is owing to bad Supreme Court rulings.

      catscradle in reply to Don. | June 24, 2023 at 7:07 pm

      Apparently, religious freedom trumps Gorsuch’s sex is gender proclamation in Bostock

Sad how “tolerance” has morphed into”the right to inflict.” Every day the “behaviors” that we are expected to tolerate become just a bit more egregious. About 98% of the service animals I encounter each day are for some sort of mental illness. I feel sorry for blind people because apparently there aren’t any dogs left over for them.

    CommoChief in reply to MajorWood. | June 24, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    To be fair there are Veterans with PTSD who rely upon service dogs primarily to help them feel secure in a public area. The dog positions itself to ward off and alert to potential threats so the Veteran can let their guard down from a constant state of hyper vigilance.

    Obviously the support squirrels or whatever claimed by some Karen ish folks aren’t exactly legit. Let’s not lump everything into that category b/c there are some support dogs doing their best to help their Veteran companions.

The war against Christianity suffers a minor, brief setback. But they’ll keep pushing on it anyway.

How would someone know your sexual preferences unless you tell them.

I want Vegans to do this too.

The Gentle Grizzly | June 24, 2023 at 8:19 pm

I didn’t advertise what I am at work. It is a part of my life, not my whole life. As it happens, the company had a gay man on the B of D, and not to virtue-signal; he was good at his assigned tasks.

I was asked how I would react were I “found out” and fired by a company that wanted no gays. My reply was that I would INSTANTLY cease my work, leave my desk as it was, show NO-one what the various stacks of paper were, and head for the door. I would lend NO assistance in translating my penmanship, or to help subordinates who I liked. But, if they called for help, it would be refused.

I am fortunate in that my skill set was still marketable, and getting another job was never an issue.

In many respects there is a straight line from banning public smoking to where we are. That was the first big push to tell a large group of people they couldn’t play reindeer games the same way b/c some others were offended. Since then lots of other groups have come forward to tell others that they now must play by another set of rules b/c they are also offended. It begat a competition of many groups all wanting to win the title of most offended group, and thus most powerful group.

either (1) violate Title VII and obey their convictions or (2) obey Title VII and violate their convictions
Because the requirement to not discriminate on the basis of transgender or sexual proclivities is actually a religious test.

And, while sexual proclivity and surgical or chemical alteration of the body is not yet protected by the constitution, religion is. (Yes, this is a private company; but if they can extend that concept to a private company, then that distinction is important to the arguments.)