Fwd: Re: Another Curious ACLU Performance
Samuel Martin Ventola
samuelv at IX.NETCOM.COM
Mon Jun 1 14:28:19 PDT 1998
Michael MASINTER <masinter at NSU.ACAST.NOVA.EDU> wrote:
>Am I missing something here? Title VII, the ADEA and most state
>antidiscrimination laws apply to religious educational institutions;
. . .
>Antidiscrimination statutes which permit religious discrimination, but
>forbid discrimination on specified grounds unrelated to religion, do
>not appear to be either chilling or intrusive.
. . .
First, it is fairly well settled that religious organizations DO have
immunity, based on the First Amendment, to discrimination suits brought
by "ministerial employees." If a minister comes to court claiming that
his termination was because of his race, sex, or age, the Church would
be forced to justify its employment decisions as to its own ministers.
This would involve the Court and/or jury in deciding if the minister
was a good or adequate minister, violating both the religious
organization's right to free exercise and the establishment clause.
This immunity has also been applied to cases brought by religion or
Second, from what I could tell from the previous post, the ACLU was
trying to establish liability based on the "message" the religious
organization was giving, either as an alternative basis or to
substitute for some weakness in the straight discrination case. Trying
to impose liability for giving such a "message" is a curious position
for the ACLU, or anyone else, to take.
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