Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Religious Organizations Challenge City's New Anti-Discrimination Law

Five churches and a Christian radio station filed suit last week in a Wisconsin state trial court challenging a De Pere city anti-discrimination ordinance that does not clearly exempt religious organizations.  The complaint (full text) in Hope Lutheran Church v. City of De Pere, (WI Cir. Ct., filed 2/22/2018) says that the city has not been willing to assure churches and religious organizations that they will be exempt from the employment and public accommodation provisions of the law that takes effect next month.  The complaint contends:
As a result, the ordinance is likely to be imposed on churches and other religious organizations in a manner that would mandate government orthodoxy in core religious functions, communication, and conduct.
While the law does permit religious organizations to hire on the basis of religion, it does not exempt them from prohibitions on hiring on the basis of sex, marital status, sexual orientation or gender identity.  Fox 11 News reports on the law suit.