In Texas, two conservative Christian groups have filed lawsuits asserting that businesses and employers have the legal right to discriminate against members of the LGBTQ community on religious grounds, according to Vox.
> The US Pastors Council and Texas Values, two nonprofit evangelical groups, filed multiple lawsuits in state and federal court this week, claiming that Christian businesses and churches have a constitutional right to fire — or not hire — LGBTQ workers.
> One lawsuit challenges the federal Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against job candidates and workers based on their religion, sex, gender, and race. Two other lawsuits seek to strike down part of an Austin city ordinance that prohibits employers from discriminating against similar groups, and explicitly includes protections based on “sexual orientation” and “gender identity.”
Texas Values said in a lawsuit filed Saturday against the city of Austin, Texas that the organization simply will not follow the law:
> “Texas Values will not hire or retain practicing homosexuals or transgendered people as employees, because their lifestyles are contrary to the biblical, Judeo–Christian understandings of sexuality and gender that Texas Values seeks to promote,” they wrote in the complaint.
But the US Pastors Council — which said it represents 1,000 churches — and Texas Values have a steep hill to climb in trying to sway the courts to their view.
> While state and federal laws do allow individuals — and business owners — to exercise their religious beliefs, it will be hard for employers to make the case that religious freedom allows them to ignore civil rights laws.