The ACLU says no your religion does not mean that you get to harm people. It has to say that, because people who run Catholic schools want to harm people because religion.
Emily Herx, a former Language Arts and Literature teacher at St. Vincent de Paul, a Catholic School in Indiana, was fired after she requested time off to receive in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment. She is suing the school for sex and disability discrimination in federal court, and today we filed a friend-of-the court brief to support her legal arguments. A few states over, Jane Doe (a pseudonym), an employee at a Catholic school in Missouri, was fired for becoming pregnant outside of wedlock. Today the ACLU of Kansas & Western Missouri filed a complaint on Jane’s behalf with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for sex discrimination.
But sex discrimination is practically the whole point of God. Women are always trying to do things and you need God to tell them they’re different and special and complementary so they’re not allowed to. The ACLU is messing with serious stuff here.
St. Vincent’s pastor told Emily she was a “grave, immoral sinner” and it would cause a “scandal” if others learned that she used IVF treatment. The president of Jane’s school told her that he was worried about others people’s perceptions about her pregnancy…It would be illegal for almost any employer to fire an employee who is (or is trying to become) pregnant. But in these cases, the schools are arguing that they are entitled to discriminate because they are a religiously affiliated school. That is flat out wrong. When it comes to employees like Emily and Jane, who have absolutely no religious duties or responsibilities, it is always illegal for religiously affiliated employers to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or disability. Because only women can become pregnant, these schools discriminated against Emily and Jane on the basis of their sex.
God said they could. God said they have to.
We’ve said it before and we’ll keep saying it—religious freedom does not come with a license to discriminate on the basis of sex, race, national origin, or disability. Period. The First Amendment protects our right to believe whatever we want and to act on those beliefs, unless those actions harm others. We live in a diverse society and the freedom to believe what you want comes with the responsibility to respect other people’s rights and beliefs, as well. Just as restaurant owners in the 1960s were required to serve African-Americans despite their religious opposition to racial integration, and religious schools were required to pay male and female teachers equally, even though they believed the Bible considers men the head of the household, schools like St. Vincent cannot fire Emily and Jane because of their pregnancies, even if they believe IVF treatment or pregnancy outside of wedlock are sins.
It can if we live in a theocracy! And the theocrats are working on it.