Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Catholic High School Loses Ministerial Exception Defense In Suit By Former Teacher

Monrovia Patch reports that a California state trial court has rejected the ministerial exception defense raised by a Glendora, California Catholic high school in a suit by a former teacher who was fired for marrying his same-sex partner shortly after the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell decision.  The court ruled that Kenneth Bencomo can move ahead with his wrongful termination, Labor Code and breach of contract claims against St. Lucy's Priority High School.  The court ruled that while the high school is a religious institution, Bencomo produced substantial evidence that that did not teach any religious classes.  He taught only studio art, dance, English and yearbook and magazine courses. The school did not require that religion be part of his classes, and he never led prayers or referenced Catholic doctrine.