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Sunday, July 07, 2013

Ind. Courts - "2 suits test ministerial exception: Ohio, local cases challenge Catholic Church"

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette has a long story today by Rebecca S. Green that begins:

FORT WAYNE – More than a year ago, a local school teacher sued the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese, alleging she was fired in an act of religious discrimination after she underwent in vitro fertilization, an act related to both her gender and a medical disability.

And a month ago, in a federal courtroom in Ohio, a jury awarded a former Ohio Catholic school employee $170,000 after she was fired for undergoing artificial insemination to become pregnant. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is appealing the jury’s verdict.

While the cases appear similar, there are a few key differences between the women and the nature of their lawsuits.

But in both cases, the local representatives of the Roman Catholic Church argue that church officials were well within their rights to terminate the female employees because, as employees, both women violated the teachings of the church. The dioceses each argue they are exempt from the lawsuits by the ministerial exception protected by the Constitution.

The long story goes on to compare and contrast the two cases, and then to discuss in detail "ministerial exception" issues.

For background, see this list of earlier ILB entries on the Herx lawsuit, as well as the June 3rd 6th Circuit ruling.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 7, 2013 10:44 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts