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SCOTUS Turns a Blind Eye to Religious Workplace Discrimination in New Ruling

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Teachers at religious schools in the U.S. have been dealt a major blow today after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) released a 7-2 ruling in their employers’ favor. Simply put: the ruling sides with court precedent that teachers at these institutions may not bring workplace discrimination complaints against their employers to court.

The two lawsuits were Our Lady of Guadalupe v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel. They will not move forward due to the “ministerial exception” and court precedent, which has held the First Amendment protects religious institutions from some workplace discrimination complaints.

Associate Justice Samuel Alito wrote the court’s majority opinion. Associate Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented.

“The religious education and formation of students is the very reason for the existence of most private religious schools, and therefore the selection and supervision of the teachers upon whom the schools rely to do this work lie at the core of their mission,” Alito wrote. “Judicial review of the way in which religious schools discharge those responsibilities would undermine the independence of religious institutions in a way that the First Amendment does not tolerate.”

Sotomayor argued, “That simplistic approach has no basis in law and strips thousands of school teachers of their legal protections.”

Lambda Legal Senior Counsel and Law and Policy Director Jennifer C. Pizer said after the ruling, “Today, the Supreme Court opened a veritable Pandora’s Box that threatens the continued employment and financial security of thousands of teachers at religiously affiliated schools. While there is no serious dispute that top authorities at churches and religious schools are free to select those who lead worship services or teach the tenets of their faith, it stretches the term ‘minister’ beyond recognition to also include those whose jobs or duties have little to do with propagation of the faith.”

The question was whether the fired teachers performed enough religious duties to be considered “ministers” and could be exempt from federal discrimination laws.

Pizer added, “Teachers of secular subjects are not clergy by any reasonable understanding of the word. They should not be deemed clergy simply to shield their employers from liability for wrongful workplace practices. The ministerial exemption especially should not apply to strip protections from teachers with secular roles at large educational institutions that serve the entire general public, regardless of whether those institutions have some sort of religious ties.”

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Watch: America, We Just Got Our First Openly-Gay Active NFL Player

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America, meet your first openly-gay, active NFL player.

Las Vegas Raiders defensive lineman Carl Nassib, 28, in an Instagram video announced he is gay, HuffPost reports.

“What’s up people, I’m Carl Nassib. I’m at my house in West Chester, Pennsylvania,” Nassib says. “I just wanted to take a quick moment to say that I’m gay. I’ve been meaning to do this for a while now, but, I finally feel comfortable now to get it off my chest. I really have the best life, the best family, friends and job a guy can ask for.”

He also says he’s donating $100,000 to The Trevor Project, which works to help young LGBTQ youth in crisis or feeling suicidal.

 

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A post shared by Carl Nassib (@carlnassib)

“I’m a pretty private person so I hope you guys know that I’m not doing this for attention,” Nassib adds. “I just think that representation and visibility are so important. I actually hope that one day, videos like this and the whole coming out process are not necessary, but until then I will do my best and my part to cultivate a culture that’s accepting and compassionate and I’m going to start by donating $100,000 to the Trevor Project. They’re an incredible organization, they’re the number one suicide-prevention service for LGBTQ youth in America, and they’re truly doing incredible things, and I’m very excited to be a part of it, to help in any way that I can and I’m really pumped to see what the future holds.”

In one of the several text images on that post Nassib explains why this is so important:

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Trump Cabinet Secretary Set Up a $300 Million Offshore Company in the Caymans — While Still in Office

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According to a report from the HuffPost, former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross was busy attending to his own financial well-being while serving under Donald Trump — raking in at least $53 million and starting up a new business in the Cayman Islands.

Ross, who was recently accused of creating “an environment of paranoia and retaliation” at Commerce, was working on the taxpayers’ dime while keeping his business deals ongoing during his tenure.

The HuffPost reports, “Ross reported making somewhere between $53 million and $127 million during his four years as head of the Commerce Department. The federal government only requires officials to report broad ranges of outside income,” before adding, “Ross’ many and profitable entanglements with private companies while he was supposed to be looking out for the American taxpayer triggered concern and criticism.”

The report goes on to note that Ross’s Commerce duties didn’t stop him from setting up a new offshore business.

“Ross is already engaged in a new enterprise, a special purpose acquisition company that reportedly attracted $300 million from investors. He established the company in the Cayman Islands in January while he was still in public office, ” the report states.

During his time in the Donald Trump’s cabinet, Ross faced multiple complaints about his business dealings, with CREW accusing him “possible insider trading and other violations when he reportedly shorted Navigator stock after learning that a negative story was coming out in The New York Times about his links to the company,” among other ethical issues.

You can read more here.

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Brothers of White Nationalist Congressman Apologize for His False Claim Insurrectionist Was ‘Executed’ by Police

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Two brothers of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) went on national TV Thursday to apologize for his accusation this week that Capitol Police were “lying in wait” and “executed” a Trump insurrectionist, 35-year old QAnon believer Ashli Babbitt, on January 6.

“On behalf of the actual sane members of our family, which is everyone but Paul, we apologize,” they said on CNN, to D.C. Officer Michael Fanone for their brother’s “despicable comments and disgraceful conduct through this whole incident.”

On Tuesday during a hearing on the January 6 insurrection Gosar, a white nationalist, demanded FBI Director Chris Wray release the name of the officer who killed Babbitt. Babbitt was attempting to break into the Speaker’s Lobby, a hallway in the Capitol just outside the House Chamber.

Calling her killing “disturbing,” Gosar told Wray in front of cameras that Babbitt was “executed,” which is false.

“The Capitol Police officer that did that shooting appeared to be hiding, lying in wait and then gave no warning before killing her,” which is also false.

Gosar is one of the leading members of Congress who have promoted Donald Trump’s “big lie,” that the election was stolen from him.

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