JACKSONVILLE, Florida (LifeSiteNews) — The city of Jacksonville is nearing a settlement with a Catholic bookstore that was suing it over a law that would have likely required its employees to use customers’ preferred pronouns.
As previously reported by LifeSite, Queen of Angels Catholic Bookstore in the Diocese of St. Augustine filed a 52-page religious liberty lawsuit in February following the passage of the city’s pro-LGBT “Human Rights Ordinance.”
While Queen of Angels admitted that no customer ever demanded staff refer to them with a pronoun opposite of their sex, owner Christie DeTrude feared that should such a situation arise, she wanted her seven part-time employees to rely on the store’s yet-to-be-finalized policy against gender ideology.
In a statement published on its website today, Queen of Angels announced that the city has agreed to recognize the store as a religious entity so that it does not have to comply with the ordinance.
“Ms. DeTrude, the owner, and the rest of the staff are very happy with the outcome of Queen of Angels Catholic Bookstore v. Jacksonville. The decision comes as no surprise because the truth and morality will always prevail,” the company said.
Senior ADF attorney Hal Frampton spoke to National Review about the settlement, which has not officially been recognized in court as of yet but is, in effect, finalized.
“It’s particularly heartening for us to see a government entity agree that a for-profit business like Queen of Angels Catholic bookstore can be … exempt from some of these kinds of laws that trample on religious liberty,” he said.
He further remarked that the case is a “win for religious liberty” and that he hopes it will inspire Christian businessowners across the country “to recognize that you don’t have to be a church to be a religious organization.”