Clergy Need Protection Under Law

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** This is a recommendation to the courts to amend parts of the 'ministerial exception' law. It is important to note that these suggested amendments are not to change or prohibit religious institutions from being able to only hire clergy of their own faith.**

What needs to be addressedThere is a law entitled "ministerial exception" or "ministerial exemption" and is summarized as thus: The ministerial exception, sometimes known as the "ecclesiastical exception," is a legal doctrine in the United States barring the application of anti-discrimination laws to religious institutions' employment relationships with its "ministers."

Why you should care: In any religious organization a person described as clergy or as the law states a 'minister' currently has no protection under the law when they have been victimized and/or have experienced discrimination. The “ministerial exception law” bars the protection from all types of employment discrimination, discrimination under Title VII, Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the religious organization. 

Currently, there is ZERO protection for clergy  who have experienced discrimination, protection that would otherwise be legally covered and protected under state and federal law in every other workplace. A clergy person who has suffered sexual harassment, hostile work environment, sexism, bullying  and other sorts of ‘protected class’ discrimination may not even successfully be able to file a complaint with their state division of human rights and/or the EEOC due to this 'ministerial exception". The religious organizations have the privilege as being a nonprofit organization entitling them a portion of the US  Internal Revenue  code as 501 (c)(3) which means that they are allowed federal tax exemption. However, they are free to discriminate and retaliate against whistleblowers.

What your signature means: You support that an amendment to the 'ministerial exception' allows room for protection of a clergy’s Human Rights and that any violations of ‘protected classes’ that occur in religious institutions where those in power, such as laity, who are aware, perpetrate, and allow discriminatory acts to occur should be held accountable for these violations and discrimination.