Following the recent Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage, many opposing the decision have denounced it based on moral grounds. Some have suggested that, based on religious reasons, they don’t have to recognize gay marriage and that “religious beliefs” can justify discrimination. However, this is simply not true. While many laws protect your religious freedoms and prohibit religious discrimination (such as Title VII), and the First Amendment protects religious freedom, an employer’s religious beliefs do not give them the right to discriminate.
As stated by Justice Alito in Hobby Lobby:
“The principal dissent raises the possibility that discrimination in hiring, for example, on the basis of race, might be cloaked as religious practice to escape legal sanction. . . . Our decision today provides no such shield. The Government has a compelling interest in providing an equal opportunity to participate in the workforce without regard to race, and prohibitions on racial discrimination are precisely tailored to achieve that critical goal.”
Thus, while employers may not agree with the decision, they may not hide behind the excuse of religion to discriminate against those who are gay.
For more information or if you believe you have been the victim of any type of discrimination, please contact the experienced Atlanta anti-discrimination lawyers at Buckley Bala Wilson Mew LLP for an immediate case evaluation.