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‘Minister’ Exemption From Anti-Bias Law May Apply To Gay Teacher, Judges Suggest

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A court of appeals in the United States is deciding on the role of a Catholic school teacher. The person in question is a gay Catholic teacher. 

This court of law is deciding whether the teacher’s religious duties can stop him from suing a North Carolina School. The school had fired the teacher sometime back. 

Although the school tried to make it appear that the case happened on other legal bases,  this legal challenge continues.

A Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, is hearing oral arguments from the school. A three-judge bench is dealing with Charlotte Catholic High School, the defendant in the lawsuit

The plainteff is Mr Lonnie Billard. Mr. Billar taught Drama at the Catholic High School. 

He lost his job after the school fired him right after announcing that he was marrying his male partner. This incident took place in 2014.

The judges in the case seemed to understand the school’s claim. Since it was a Catholic institution continuing to employ Mr. Billard would clearly go against the Catholic values of the school. 

However, some of the Circuit Judges (Paul Niemeyer and Pamela Harris) are disagreeing with this approach. They are of the opinion that instead of basing the case on the “ministerial exception,” they should look at the anti-discrimination laws. 

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