That phrase ‘freedom of religion’? I do not think it means what you think it means

A New York Appeals Court ordered Edward Globokar, the owner of a chain of restaurants, to pay one of its chefs Mirella Salemi $1.6 million. Why?

The owner of a chain of Mexican restaurants in New York has been ordered to pay a chef who is a lesbian $1.6 million after repeatedly saying that “gay people” were “going to go to hell” in staff meetings.

According to Salemi, who sued under the New York City Human Rights Law, Globokar compelled his staff to attend weekly prayer meetings that were essentially mandatory because with the restaurant staff believing they would lose their jobs if they failed to attend.

At the meetings, Globokar would repeatedly call homosexuality a sin, and tell his staff that “gay people” were “going to go to hell.”

According to Salemi’s lawyer Derek Smith, Globokar also instructed Salemi to dress more “effeminately,” and that she should marry a man and have children.

As might be expected, Globokar’s defense is that “he was exercising his First Amendment rights, including his freedom of religion” to which the judges replied “The trial court properly protected Globokar’s First Amendment rights by instructing the jury that he had ‘a right to express his religious beliefs and practice religion, providing that he does not discriminate against his employees based on religion or sexual orientation.”

I don’t think that these people realize that by using ‘freedom of religion’ to excuse their attempts at pushing their religious views on others, they are actually weakening that freedom by making it seem more and more as a cover for abusing others.


  1. says

    Well, it’s been my experience that these people seem to lack consideration for others. This then leads to a failure to recognize that freedoms can conflict. He has a freedom of religion. His employees have freedom from discrimination. So when his religion promotes discrimination, there is conflict. (And, in such cases, freedom from discrimination should win out every time.) But I suspect he does not notice this conflict because he’s only thinking about his freedoms and not the freedoms of others.

  2. Chiroptera says

    What is it that the conservatives keep saying? Along with rights comes responsibilities? I guess those responsibilities only apply to other people when they get “uppity” enough to demand ther rights.

  3. Wylann says

    There’s a typo in your title…. ‘freedom or religion’ …it’s an amusing, if accurate, slip. 🙂

  4. Matt G says

    We don’t need to make the religious look bad – they do it very well without us. Wasn’t it Napoleon who said to not interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake?

  5. Mano Singham says


    Thanks. I corrected it. It is interesting that I often miss typos in titles.

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