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SCOTUS: Bisexual Lawyer's Suit Against Christian Group Can Go Ahead

U.S. Supreme Court Justices

The attorney had filed the lawsuit against the organization after the group said it had rejected his application for a job due to its code of conduct, which "excludes homosexual activity."


The U.S. Supreme Court will not review a case involving a Seattle-based Christian group that was sued by a bisexual lawyer who had applied for a job with the organization.

A lower court had said the suit go on, and Supreme Court said Monday it wouldn't stop that decision, according to the Associated Press.

The organization being sued is Union Gospel Mission. The group, which is a nonprofit organization, assists those experiencing homeless with food and shelter. It also provides addiction recovery treatment, job assistance, and legal aid.

In 2016, the group was looking for a lawyer to help its legal-aid clinic.

A three-year volunteer at the clinic, Matthew Woods, applied for the role. He is bisexual and was in a same-sex relationship, the AP reports.

The organization informed Woods that his application would be rejected due to the group's "code of conduct excludes homosexual activity."

Woods then sued Union Gospel Mission. He argued that the group's rejection due to his sexual orientation violated Washington's antidiscrimination law.

However, a state trial judge dismissed Wood's lawsuit. The judge ruled that Union Gospel Mission was exempt from the law. The state's supreme court reversed that decision and let the suit proceed.

U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas agreed in not hearing the case, but they said "the day may soon come" when the high court needs to deal with the issue presented by the case, according to the news wire.

The high court is already dealing with a case involving similar issues. The court said in February it would hear the appeal from Colorado web designer Lorie Smith. Smith wants to expand her wedding website services; however, she has argued that she would have to object to providing services for same-sex couples for religious reasons. Additionally, Smith wants to include a statement on her website about those religious beliefs. That would be in violation of the state's antidiscrimination law. Smith says the current law violates her free speech and religious rights.

The court said that it would only look into the free speech issue. The case, expected to be argued in the fall, will examine "whether applying a public-accommodation law to compel an artist to speak or stay silent violates the free speech clause of the First Amendment," according to The New York Times.

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