Appeals Court Rules NC Catholic School Was Allowed To Fire Gay Teacher Because He Was Acting As “Minister”

Bloomberg Law reports:

A gay teacher saw his sex bias win against a Catholic high school overturned Wednesday by the Fourth Circuit, which said because he played a “vital role as a messenger” of the faith, he was a “minister” excepted from the protections of federal sex discrimination law. Charlotte Catholic High School teacher Lonnie Billard’s appeal is the latest case to examine the interplay between federal job discrimination law and religious freedom protections.

The US Supreme Court has previously adopted and applied a “ministerial exception” to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act claims. The exception is derived from the First Amendment and gives religious employers the freedom to generally choose who serves them in spreading their message, the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit said, looking past a waiver of that defense.

Read the full article. Billard first sued in 2017 after the school fired him when he posted his wedding announcement on Facebook.