A Catholic high school fired a teacher living in a lesbian relationship when the relationship became widely known, and now the lesbian is planning to file a complaint under a city ordinance banning discrimination on the basis of so-called "sexual orientation." (By the way, if any jurisdiction in which you have any lobbying interest is considering such a law, be notified: Such laws include, either tacitly or explicitly, sexual activity in sexual orientation. The word "orientation" is a smoke screen to confuse people who feel sorry for the poor, poor homosexuals who can't help the way they feel or the way they were born or what-not. Don't be misled.)
The ordinance allows a fine and even possible jail time for those in violation.
Apparently the school was just continuing business as usual with its "discriminatory" policy, in pretty evident violation of the city ordinance. I don't know if their legal eagles hadn't told them what was up, if they intended to be engaging in civil disobedience (and in this case, good for them if they were), or if they were just hoping the issue wouldn't come up. But there you have it. They fired her, and a city official or two could go to jail for it. The ordinance has no religious exemption.
Related story (HT Bill Luse): A Catholic diocese in Ohio has been socked with over $170k in damages after a lesbian teacher won a federal lawsuit for her firing when she became pregnant by artificial insemination. Her lawyer alleged that a woman can't be fired for being pregnant and unmarried; this is, he said, a violation of state and federal laws about non-discrimination against women. The Catholic school stated that it requires teachers under contract not to violate Catholic moral teaching in their lives, which of course was broken by her becoming pregnant by artificial insemination. (It was also broken by her living in a lesbian relationship, which she allegedly kept a secret for a time. The school was setting that aside in its defense and apparently wasn't bringing it up as a reason for the firing.)
The issue of whether the teacher was a ministerial employee, which has been addressed by SCOTUS, came up in this case and may come up in the other case as well.
So I have a question for the legal pundits among my readers. Which of the following (perhaps more than one) is or are true?
1) If there is a religious exemption written into some law, then that religious exemption will usually apply to any employees of the religious organization, whether or not they are deemed by a court or even by the employer to be ministerial.
2) The ministerial employee issue arises because of constitutional jurisprudence creating a limited religious exemption to all non-discrimination laws, even if no religious exemption is written into the law. This exemption applies only to those the court deems ministerial employees.
3) The ministerial employee issue arises because of a written, but limited, exemption to federal non-discrimination law that expressly applies only to ministerial employees.
Christian schools and all other Christian organizations, our leftist masters are determined that you will comply with their agenda, come what may. Definitely, go jurisdiction shopping when looking to open a Christian school. Until every single bit of this is fully federalized, it may make all the difference in the world.