7th Circuit judges seek middle ground on religious exemption to gay bias claims

by Reuters
Wednesday, 10 February 2021 10:31 GMT

FILE PHOTO: A demonstrators holds a large cross outside the U.S. Supreme Court as the court ruled that religious institutions like churches and schools are shielded from employment discrimination lawsuits in Washington, U.S., July 8, 2020. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Some of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges said they were leery of 'extreme' arguments in a case brought by a gay former church music director

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday appeared split over whether an exemption from an anti-bias law for religious organizations applies to hostile work environment claims, in a case brought by the gay former music director of a Chicago church.

During an hour-long oral argument streamed on YouTube, some of the 7th Circuit judges said they were leery of the “extreme” arguments pushed by both sides, and grappled with whether employees with religious roles should be able to pursue hostile work environment claims, even if only in limited circumstances.

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