Texas judge rules businesses/religious nonprofits can be protected against LGBTQ discrimination laws

by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – A judge in Texas ruled Sunday that businesses and religious nonprofits can be protected from LGBTQ and transgender lawsuits provided the person in charge of hiring and firing makes decisions based on sincerely held beliefs, the Washington Examiner reports.

The October 31 ruling by US District Judge Reed O’Connor follows last year’s US Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton, which expanded civil rights protections under Title VII to gay and transgender workers, the Examiner noted.

Business owner Steve Hotze of Braidwood Management Inc, had brought the case to challenge the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s interpretation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, the Examiner said. Bear Creek Bible Church was also a plaintiff in the matter.

“The Court holds that the Religious Business-Type Employer Class, and All Opposing Employer Class, are permitted to create and maintain codes of conduct that regulate the sexual conduct of their employees, to the extent that those policies do not target solely homosexual or transgender activities,” Judge O’Connor wrote. The court also determined that workplace policies on restrooms, sexual conduct and restrooms were not a violation of Title VII. However, the court said, federal law did regulate policies regarding “bisexual conduct, sex-reassignment surgery, and hormone treatment.”

The Texas court’s decision fills in a gap left by Bostock v. Clayton, in which the Supreme Court made no specific allowance for religious exemptions to discrimination laws, the Examiner said.

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