Tag Archives: Lawsuit

Should the secular left allow Christians to be social workers?

Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign
Gay activist vandalizes pro-marriage sign

This is from religious liberty rock star David French, writing in National Review. He writes about a new Tennessee bill that protects Christian social workers from having to violate their consciences when doing their jobs.

He says:

The Tennessee legislature has passed a bill protecting from liability “counselors and therapists who refuse to counsel a client as to goals, outcomes, or behaviors that conflict with a sincerely held religious belief of the counselor or therapist.”

[…]Two legal cases I worked on immediately come to mind. The first involved a young woman named Emily Brooker, a social-work student at Missouri State University. Emily’s academic “crime” was refusing a professor’s demand that she sign her name to a letter to the state legislature advocating gay adoption.

Rather than recognizing that teachers can’t compel students to engage in political advocacy, the professor accused her of a “Level 3” grievance (the university’s most serious academic offense). The department then subjected Emily to a Star Chamber–style political inquiry, where a panel of professors demanded to know whether she was a “sinner” and kept her from having a lawyer, an advocate, or even her own mother in the room. The panel convicted her of the offense and required her to change her beliefs as a condition of graduation.

In the second case, I represented Julea Ward against Eastern Michigan University. Julea was in the final stages of her graduate counseling program when she was asked to counsel a gay man about his same-sex relationship. She declined and referred the file to another counselor who had no moral objections. The client was counseled without incident. Indeed, he didn’t even know his file had been referred.

The university, however, found her referral intolerable and subjected Julea to a “formal review,” accusing her of “imposing values that are inconsistent with counseling goals” and of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Once again, a student was summoned to the Star Chamber, and once again public officials probed a private citizen’s religious beliefs. One university official actually held it against her that she “communicated an attempt to maintain [her] belief system.” She was expelled from the program just weeks before graduation.

David French used to work at the Alliance Defending Freedom, but now he works for the American Center for Law and Justice.

I noticed that Casey Mattox at the Alliance Defending Freedom has a warning for Christians who think that the advance of the sexual revolutionaries won’t affect them.

Mattox writes:

While the anti-conscience activists pretend that conscientious objectors are declining goods or services because of sexual orientation, every case disproves that characterization. These creative professionals serve all persons. They object only to facilitating and celebrating a particular event that would require them to advance a message contrary to their religious convictions.

The left had historically mocked suggestions that any pastor would ever be forced to perform a same sex wedding in violation of their faith. But the mask is slipping. See the hysterical response to a Georgia law that would have done little more than protect pastors, churches and other nonprofit religious organizations from hosting and solemnizing a same-sex marriage. Indeed, the left has already attempted to force a pastor to perform a same-sex wedding that would violate his faith. And within hours of the Supreme Court’s decision finding a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, activists were urging termination of tax exemptions for churches that decline to perform same-sex weddings.

Not every same-sex wedding is a church wedding, but some are. If Christian videographers, wedding coordinators, musicians, and othercreative professionals – let alone pastors themselves – are required to provide their services for same-sex weddings, some will even have to be physically present, even participating in religious worship where they believe the prayers prayed, hymns sung, and scriptures read in support are actually blaspheming their own God.

The opponents of RFRA and like religious freedom protections are still quick to deploy their “separation of church and state” cliché, but one side is demanding that the state fine people for declining to participate in a religious service. It isn’t mine. It’s the ACLU and its allies who are ready to use the power of the state to compel unwilling people to participate in religious services.

[…]Of the same-sex marriage agenda, Erick Erickson has coined the phrase, “You will be made to care.” But in some cases this is insufficient. You must participate. Even if the left must use the power of the government to fine you if you refuse, you will be made to worship their god.

I think a lot of Christians sort of don’t think it’s a problem if they keep their faith in a box and only let it out to see the light of day for purposes of feeling good, or having community. But Christianity isn’t like that. It’s not something for the benefit of the Christian, it’s a worldview. And part of that worldview is not only doing the things that God wants us to do as individual, but also declaring and defending God’s values and character to others, when the subject comes up for discussion. We are not free to promote things that God does not agree with.

What is ENDA? The Employment Non-Discrimination Act and religious liberty

Here are two assessments of the Democrat-sponsored ENDA legislation, the first conservative, the second libertarian.

Here’s Ryan Anderson from the Heritage Foundation, a conservative D.C. think tank.

Excerpt:

ENDA would impose liability on employers for alleged “discrimination” based not on objective employee traits but on subjective and unverifiable identities. It would create new protected classes—based on an “individual’s actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity”—that would expose employers to unimaginable liability. ENDA could require employment policies that undermine common sense about a host of workplace conditions, especially regarding issues surrounding gender identity.

The bill defines “gender identity” as “the gender-related identity, appearance, or mannerisms…of an individual, with or without regard to the individual’s designated sex at birth.” In other words, it creates special rights for transgendered individuals—males who dress and act as females, and females who dress and act as males—and forbids employers from considering the consequences of such behavior in the workplace.

Issues concerning gender identity are difficult. All ought to agree that young children should be protected from having to sort through questions about gender identity before an age-appropriate introduction. ENDA, however, would bar employers from making certain decisions about transgendered employees.

Although ENDA includes some exemptions for religious education, it provides no protection for students in other schools who could be prematurely exposed to questions about gender identity if, for example, a male teacher returned to school identifying as a woman.

Moreover, we can’t deny the relevance of biological sex in many contexts. An employer would be negligent to ignore the concerns of female employees about having to share bathrooms with a biological male who identifies as female. Failing to consider these repercussions raises a host of concerns about privacy rights. But ENDA would prevent taking these concerns into account.

And here is a post from Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a libertarian D.C. think tank.

Meritless lawsuits that favor the plaintiff:

ENDA would harm even businesses that hire and fire based on merit, not sexual orientation. It would also erode free speech in the workplace about sexual-orientation-related political and religious issues.

Since ENDA is modeled on other employment laws that have produced many meritless discrimination lawsuits (through one-way fee shifting), ENDA, too, is likely to result in wasteful litigation and settlements paid out by employers that are actually innocent of discrimination (most employment discrimination claims turn out to be meritless). ENDA’s attorney fee provision, Section 12, uses the same language as other federal employment laws that incorporate the Christiansburg Garment standard for awarding attorneys fees — a sort of “heads I win, tails you lose” scheme under which the plaintiff gets his attorneys fees paid for by the other side if he wins, but the employer has to pay its own attorneys fees even if it wins (a win at trial typically costs an employer at least $250,000). While the language of ENDA’s attorney-fee provision is seemingly neutral on its face, similar provisions in other federal employment laws have consistently been interpreted by the courts as favoring plaintiffs under the Supreme Court’s 1978 Christiansburg Garment decision. Moreover, even if the plaintiff’s case is so insubstantial that the plaintiff only wins $1 at trial, the employer can still be ordered to pay tens of thousands of dollars in attorneys fees. For example, an appeals court ruling awarded $42,000 in attorneys fees to a plaintiff who suffered only $1 in damages. (See Brandau v. Kansas, 168 F.3d 1179 (10th Cir.1999).) These attorney fee provisions will lead to some employers paying thousands of dollars to plaintiffs just to settle weak or meritless discrimination claims.

Censoring employees who might create a “hostile environment”:

While the typical private employer has no reason to hire or fire based on sexual orientation (and few do), ENDA’sSection 4(a)(1) reaches beyond hiring and firing to vaguely defined “terms, conditions, or privileges of employment,” which courts interpret as requiring certain restrictions on speech. In Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57 (1986), the Supreme Court interpreted the same vague “terms or conditions” language in another statute, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, as requiring employers to prohibit employee speech or conduct that creates a “hostile or offensive work environment” for women or blacks. The employer is liable for damages and attorneys fees if a court decides that it was negligent in failing to detect, prevent, or punish such speech or conduct. Such “hostile work environment” liability applies to each and every protected class covered by federal law, such as race, religion, national origin, and disability, not just gender. See, e.g., Amirmokri v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., 60 F.3d 1126 (4th Cir. 1995) (employer was liable for national-origin based taunts and harassment by plaintiff’s co-workers).

If ENDA were enacted, such liability would also cover “sexual orientation”-based hostile work environments, meaning that a company would potentially be liable for a “hostile work environment” resulting from anti-gay things its employees say (even if those employees’ sentiments are at odds with the company’s own views or policies). Thus, to avoid liability, an employer might have to silence employees with political opinions that are perceived as anti-gay, and prevent such employees from expressing political views such as opposition to gay marriage or gays in the military that could contribute to a “hostile work environment.”

Quotas in hiring:

It is conceivable that if ENDA is passed, a civil-rights agency could use it to pressure some employers to adopt sexual-orientation-based hiring goals or veiled quotas, notwithstanding the language of Section 4(f) of ENDA.  Activists have already pressured President Obama to mandate sexual-orientation-based hiring goals for government contractors.

Bathroom privacy:

Finally, in addition to banning sexual-orientation discrimination, ENDA also contains “transgender rights” provisions that ban discrimination based on “gender identity.” Similar prohibitions in state laws created legal headaches for some businesses.

I have to admit, I have been operating for the last decade as if this law was already in effect, since I don’t want to be singled out for reprisals by management if a law like this is enacted. If you already have a reputation as being pro-marriage and pro-chastity in your workplace and this law gets enacted, you will become a target for censorship and even termination. It would be much easier for your employer to pre-emptively fire you under some pretext than to have to get stuck with millions of dollars in legal fees and penalties for one of these “hostile work environment” lawsuits. I can envision scenarios in which people on the left will solicit your opinion openly in the workplace on controversial issues like gay marriage, etc. and then prosecute you for anything less than full affirmation and enthusiastic celebration of their views. It’s already happening in the military now.

It’s very important for Christians to consider who they talk to and what they talk about in the workplace. You might think that you have free speech rights in America, but you don’t. That is all going away now because of the gay agenda and the judicial activism in the courts. This is especially true for men who have to provide for their families. If you are going to say anything critical of the secular left, understand that they are fascists, and they will hurt you any way they can. These are not people who believe in human rights. They believe in using power to destroy anyone who offends them by mere disagreement.

Cain accuser Ginger White was found guilty of libeling former business partner

Herman Cain Accuser Ginger White - Another Nutcase
Herman Cain Accuser Ginger White - Another Nutcase

From ABC News. (H/T Richard M.)

Excerpt:

The female bodybuilder who once ran a bicycle business with latest Herman Cain accuser Ginger White says the Atlanta woman never mentioned the Republican presidential candidate, who she says was her lover for 13 years.

“His name has never come up,” said Kimberly Vay, who told ABC News that she and White were former business partners.

But Vay, who filed and won a libel lawsuit against White, refused to comment directly when asked whether she considers White’s accusations about Cain credible. “When you see the details of my lawsuit,” said Vay, “they will speak for themselves.” She then referred ABC News to her attorney.

According to Vay’s suit, which was filed in June 2011, White and Vay were partners in a fitness coaching business called No Limit Cycling, and held spinning classes inside the Martin Luther King Recreation Center, which is owned by the City of Atlanta. In November 2010, claimed Vay, White asked to end their partnership, with White continuing to operate No Limit Cycling, and Vay agreed.

On December 9, according to the complaint, White sent a “defamatory” note to a master email list of the company’s clients and to city officials. The email said that White’s business had “come tumbling down [on] the day I invited Kim Vay into my life and my business” and that Vay had turned her “dream” into a “nightmare.” According to the complaint, the email alleged that Vay, a competitive bodybuilder, injected veterinary drugs into her system prior to contests,” and also said that Vay preferred to date black men but had made derogatory comments about black women’s hair.

Vay’s complaint termed the allegation about drug use “false, malicious, defamatory” and “reckless,” and therefore libelous.

Both women retained attorneys, according to Vay’s account, and reached an out-of-court settlement in April 2011. In June, Vay filed suit, claiming that White had failed to live up to the settlement and that she was entitled to sue for libel. Vay’s attorney Kurt Martin told ABC News that White had failed to honor the financial agreement that had settled the case.

Here’s a bit more about Ginger White from the NY Daily News.

Excerpt:

The Atlanta woman who says she was Herman Cain’s mistress for 13 years is a down-on-her-luck single mom who once sued a former employer for sexual harassment.

Ginger White surfaced in bombshell fashion on Monday, telling an Atlanta TV station that she’s “not proud” of what she described as long-running sexual shenanigans with the married GOP White House contender.

“I didn’t want to come out this way,” she said in an interview with Atlanta’s FOX affiliate WAGA-TV that put Cain on the defensive even before it was aired.

White described herself in the interview as a jobless former businesswoman. She is middle-aged, has two children and was evicted from her Atlanta home earlier this month, according to a background check done by the TV station.

WAGA reporters also found records showing she has been hit with several eviction notices in DeKalb County, Ga., over the past six years.

She filed for bankruptcy 23 years ago, the station reported. In 2001, she also filed a sexual harassment suit, which was later settled, according to the station.

Her former business partner, Kimberly Vay, once sued her and accused her of stalking, the station reported.

Vay, who did not respond to calls for comment Monday, also sought an order of protection against White, charging that she was bombarded with emails and texts “threatening [a\] lawsuit” and defaming her character.

A judge ruled in favor of Vay in a libel suit she had filed against White, the station reported.

It’s not surprising to me that a woman like this would make such accusations – she is getting a lot of attention, and possibly is being paid off by another candidate. There might even be a nice book deal for her.

Consider a parallel case, featuring Mariah Yeater’s paternity suit against Justin Bieber.

Excerpt:

The 20-year-old woman who claims teen idol Justin Bieber is the father of her child originally told her ex-boyfriend that he — and not Bieber — was the baby-daddy, the New York Post reported Friday.

“She came back here from California telling me she was pregnant with my child and I said this is impossible, you’ve been in California two months and back here for only a week,” said Las Vegas resident John Terranova, 19, about his ex-girlfriend Mariah Yeater, 20, who has sued Bieber for support for the son she later bore.

“After I told her that’s not my kid, you’ve only been here for a week, then she told me, ‘No, I got pregnant before I left by you,” Terranova told The Post. “But it didn’t make sense because she had a doctor’s note saying she wasn’t pregnant enough for that to be possible. It didn’t add up.”

Terranova said he had dated Yeater for nearly four years after meeting her at a Las Vegas high school that caters to students who had been thrown out of other schools. He said he broke up with her after he learned she had cheated on him.

Terranova scoffed at Yeater’s claim that it was the then-16-year-old Bieber who impregnated her in October 2010 during a 30-second sex session after the singer performed in Los Angeles.

“I know it’s not Justin Bieber,” Terranova said. “She just wants money. It’s a scam.”

His girlfriend Lacy Jensen, who herself is pregnant now, agreed.

“Poor kid. He’s worked so hard for his career and to deal with this. She just wants to get her name out there,” said Jensen.

“She’s a gold digger and just wants someone to take care of her,” Jensen said. “She was a really big party animal who got around a lot. She was a big slut. She’s scandalous.”

Yeater was arrested for battery last December for allegedly slapping Terranova in a jealous rage after she returned from her sojourn in California to find him dating a new girlfriend, Jensen.

I see no reason to think that White’s claims have any more validity than Yeater’s claims. It seems plausible to me that both women are making false claims for the same reason – they want fame and money.

Do women ever make false claims about sexual matters? Its more common than you might think. Studies show that false allegations are made about 20-40% of the time, depending on the study. These sorts of false accusations are usually made in order to 1) get attention or money, by trying to appear as an innocent victim, 2) in order to get an alibi for something the woman has done wrong (see below), or 3) to get revenge on someone who has mistreated the woman, as with the Duke lacrosse scandal.

Consider this case of a Hofstra student Danmell Ndonye who invented a false rape accusation.

Excerpt:

The Hofstra freshman who had a raunchy restroom romp and then cried rape made up the twisted tale because she didn’t want her schoolmates — particularly her new boyfriend — to think she was easy, the beau told The Post yesterday.

“I think she needs a psychologist. She probably felt like, ‘They’ll think I’m a slut,’ ” her boyfriend, who asked not to be identified, told The Post.

Danmell Ndonye, 18, who had accused five men of gang rape, admitted the truth only when prosecutors confronted her after learning of a cellphone video that captured the whole sordid episode and showed she had willingly participated, officials said.

She created her outlandish tale when her boyfriend, a Hofstra student who’s been dating her since the semester began a few weeks ago, demanded to know where she had disappeared after a wild frat party early Sunday.

The two had been dancing together at the Alpha Kappa Alpha mixer at the school’s on-campus club, Hofstra USA, but got separated when a fight broke out.

The boyfriend said he called her repeatedly, but she didn’t answer her cellphone, so he went to her seventh-floor dorm room at Estabrook Hall. Moments later she appeared.

“As I was about to leave, she comes up and she has no shoes on, she is holding them in her hands. She looked like she just finished hot sex,” he said. “I said, ‘Where were you? What were you doing?’ She told me, ‘Nothing.’ I said, ‘What do you mean, nothing?’ “

Ndonye then dropped a bombshell.

“I said, ‘Don’t lie to me, what’s going on?’ And she said, ‘Oh, I just got raped,’ ” he said.

“It didn’t seem real to me. She was calm,” he continued. “Then she started crying and saying, ‘I was raped.’ She lied to me. I think she was embarrassed. I said to her, ‘You have to call public safety.’ She hesitated. It seemed like she didn’t want to.”

She then tried to backpedal.

“Oh, you know, no, it’s OK,” she told him, but he was incredulous.

“How could it be OK that you just got raped?” the boyfriend said.

So she relented — and a four-day nightmare began for four innocent men: Stalin Felipe, 19, his stepbrother, Kevin Taveras, 20, Jesus Ortiz, 19, and 21-year-old Rondell Bedward, a Hofstra senior who had invited the others to the party.

Cops also hunted for a fifth man, who has not been publicly identified.

False allegations of abuse are routinely used in divorce custody hearings. They virtually never go to trial.

In the absence of ANY evidence, why think that these anonymous charges against a black conservative who is leading in national polls are anything but greed and attention-whoring? Surely, we need to see some charges laid against Cain that where brought forward in a real criminal trial, so we can see the evidence. Otherwise, it just seems to me like another case of false paternity claims and false sexual allegations. We need to see real criminal charges, with real evidence and real witnesses from a real trial, before we can draw any conclusions.

My previous post analyzed the media bias evident in how this story is being covered.

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