A Massachusetts judge finds a Catholic school is required to obey the state’s nondiscrimination laws.
Two years ago, after three interviews with theÂ Fontbonne Academy, Matthew Barrett (photo, right) was offered a job as the Catholic all-girls school’s food services director. But after completing paperwork listing his husband as his emergency contact, the school called him and rescinded their job offer.
Wednesday, a state judge ruled thatÂ Fontbonne Academy is not exempt from the state’s nondiscrimination laws because it accepts students and employees regardless of faith. The school was found guilty of practicing anti-gay discrimination. In its summary judgment, the court “rejected the schoolâ€™s argument that it expects all employees to model Catholic teaching and values, including an opposition to same-sex marriage,” The Patriot Ledger reports.
The Ledger adds that Judge Douglas Wilkins found “that the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religious expression, did not apply in the case, writing that the hiring of a food service worker married to a same-sex spouse would not interfere with Fontebonne’s ability to express its opposition to such marriages.”
The school has not decided if it will appeal.
The case is significant because religious organizations increasingly have been attempting to bar LGBT people from them, citing First Amendment religious expression. This case narrows that claim and might be used to establish precedenceÂ elsewhere.
CBS Boston reports the school’s attorney claimed “thatÂ Barrettâ€™s presence at the school would have been inconsistent with the schoolâ€™s catholic message.”
â€œSimply, we request of this court to render a decision in support of our clientâ€™s statutory right to make an employment decision based on sincerely held religious beliefs,â€ attorney John Bagley told the court.
In an interview with the Boston Globe last year, Barrett explained when he received the call from the school, essentially firing him,Â â€œIt just ate me up.â€
â€œShe said the Catholic religion doesnâ€™t recognize same-sex marriage, and that was her excuse. She said, â€˜We cannot hire you,â€™ â€
GLAD represent Barrett inÂ Massachusetts Superior Court. He told them,Â â€œI have never been an activist of any kind. And in my heart, Iâ€™m still not. But once I saw how wrong it was, what had happened to me, I felt like I had to do something to make it right.â€
ImageÂ via Facebook
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Just 9 Republicans Joined Democrats to Uphold the Rule of Law and Vote to Hold Steve Bannon in Criminal Contempt
Only nine House Republicans joined with every Democrat in voting to hold Trump ally Steve Bannon in criminal contempt of Congress. Thursday afternoon’s final vote was 229-202.
— CSPAN (@cspan) October 21, 2021
Bannon refused to obey a lawful congressional subpoena ordering him to hand over documents and to submit to congressional investigators for a deposition. His legal defense was mocked by experts after he tried to invoke executive privilege.
Minority Whip Steve Scalise had directed House Republicans to vote against the motion.
Top voting rights attorney Marc Elias warns against praising the nine Republicans for doing the right thing in this one instance: “all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation,” he tweeted.
Before anyone praises them, all nine of them voted against voting rights legislation. https://t.co/QMFsczUgjk
— Marc E. Elias (@marceelias) October 21, 2021
‘Act of War’: Trump Blasted for ‘Chilling’ Statement Calling Election an ‘Insurrection’
Donald Trump, the twice-impeached former president, on Thursday issued what is being called a “chilling” statement on the election and the insurrection he incited.
“The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” Trump said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.
Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh simply and clearly calls it an “act of war.”
This statement is an act of war against America. ANY Republican who does not publicly rebuke this statement must be defeated. ANY Republican. pic.twitter.com/mVAsPXkqGK
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) October 21, 2021
U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) during debate on the House floor has “repeatedly” been “calling on Republicans to denounce the Trump statement,” according to reporter Jamie Dupree.
“All my colleagues were elected on November 3,” McGovern said. “If you believe that Election Day was an insurrection, then your election results are illegitimate.”
McGovern is not the only one to blast the Trump statement:
In debate on the January 6 investigation today on the House floor, Democrats are repeatedly bringing up this new statement from Donald Trump. Rep. Jim Clyburn D-SC says the “Big Lie” is just like the “Lost Cause” after the Civil War. pic.twitter.com/NDNHdjKrYq
— Jamie Dupree (@jamiedupree) October 21, 2021
Some journalists are also slamming the former president’s latest remarks.
S.V. Dáte, the White House correspondent at HuffPost weighed in, saying, “Donald Trump tried to overthrow American democracy after he lost his election by 7 million votes, but nearly a year later, he’s still lying. About all of it.”
Washington Post national political reporter Felicia Sonmez called it a “chilling statement … that makes clear his stance on peaceful democracy vs. violent insurrection.”
Washington Post White House bureau chief Ashley Parker pointed to the statement and said: “In which Trump’s shamelessness continues to be his political super power.”
ProPublica Senior Reporter Peter Elkind says: “This is the position of the widely embraced leader of the GOP. Republicans all behind that?”
A former president of the United States who took an oath to uphold the US Constitution: “The insurrection took place on November 3, Election Day. January 6 was the Protest!” #DonaldTrump #ThisIsGoingWell NB: almost no evidence of voter fraud has been uncovered or confirmed.
— Priscilla Huff (@phuffdaddy) October 21, 2021
Watch: Garland Destroys GOP Congressman’s False Suggestion His School Board Memo Calls Parents Terrorists
U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday morning was forced to respond to repeated Republican false claims about his memo directing the DOJ to hold “discussions” with local leaders about threats of violence made against school board members, and several times had to push back hard against false accusations made by GOP Congressmen.
Franklin Graham, Stephen Miller, and countless others on the right for weeks have been falsely claiming that Garland has ordered DOJ to investigate parents merely for opposing school board decisions, mostly on mask mandates and what they claim is “critical race theory.”
U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on Wednesday during a Judiciary Committee hearing falsely suggested Garland was calling parents’ challenging school boards domestic terrorists.
“One example of a so-called terrorist incident was a parent, merely questioning whether school board members had earned their high school diplomas. Now that might have been rude, but does that seem like an act of domestic terrorism that you or your Justice Department ought to be investigating?” Chabot asked.
“Absolutely not,” Garland replied. “And I want to be clear the Justice Department supports and defends the First Amendment right of parents to complain as vociferously as they wish, about the education of their children, about the curriculum taught in the schools. That is not what the memorandum is about at all, nor does it use the words ‘domestic terrorism’ or ‘Patriot Act.’ Like you, I can’t imagine any circumstance in which the Patriot Act would be used in the circumstances of parents complaining about their children, nor can I imagine a circumstance where they would be labeled as domestic terrorism.”
As NCRM has previously reported, school board members and educators in at least nine states this year have been targeted with threats, death threats, and often racist death threats, including in Virginia, Arizona, Connecticut, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Vermont, according to local news reports.
Ironically, it was Congressman Chabot who, a decade ago, was legitimately accused of violating the First Amendment when his staffers directed local police to confiscate video cameras at the Congressman’s town hall event, held in a public school.
Chabot, ruffled and rebuffed by Garland’s response, decided to end the inquiry there.
“Thank you I’m nearly out of time.”
Garland: That is not what the memorandum is about at all nor does it use the word domestic terrorism or patriot act pic.twitter.com/6vJqDDPcBf
— Acyn (@Acyn) October 21, 2021
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