Friday, February 24, 2017

No Religious Discrimination In Suspension of Minister's Gym Membership

In Armstrong v. James Madison University, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25014 (WD VA, Feb. 23, 2017), a Virginia federal magistrate judge recommended dismissing claims of religious discrimination and infringement of free exercise rights brought by Matthew Armstrong, a 65-year old Christian minister, after his alumnus membership in James Madison University Recreation gym was suspended. The suspension followed a complaint filed by a female student employee of the gym who claimed that comments made to her by Armstrong amounted to sexual harassment. Armstrong had told the student about his religious beliefs that allowed him to have a young wife, and asked her if she would be interested in getting to know him better with the eventual possibility of marriage.