Friday, July 24, 2015

Indiana Deputy Clerk, Fired For Refusing To Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licences, Sues [UPDATED]

Linda Summers, a former deputy clerk in the Harrison County, Indiana Superior Court Clerk's Office, last week filed a federal court lawsuit alleging violation of her First Amendment free exercise rights. religious discrimination in employment.  The Louisville Courier Journal reports that after the U.S. Supreme Court denied review of a case from Indiana upholding marriage equality, County Clerk Sally Whitis sent an e-mail to all employees telling them that even if it conflicted with their religious beliefs, they were required to process licenses for same-sex couples. Summers responded with a hand-delivered letter asking that she not be required to do so based on her religious beliefs.  She was fired for insubordination. The lawsuit seeks damages and a change in employment practices.

UPDATE: Despite the Courier Journal's quote from plaintiff's counsel that the lawsuit is "just a generic First Amendment free exercise case", now that I have a copy of the complaint it appears that the suit is based on Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  Here is the full text of the complaint in Summers v. Whitis, (SD IN, (filed 7/17/2015).  [Thanks to Greg Lipper for the copy of the complaint.]