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WASHINGTON, Indiana, May 10, 2021 (Becket Law) —  An Indiana trial court last week issued an important ruling in favor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, confirming its right to ensure students and families receive an authentic Catholic education. In Payne-Elliot v. Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a former Catholic high school teacher sued the Archdiocese after he was dismissed for entering a same-sex union in violation of his contract and millennia of Church teaching. The trial court initially ruled that the lawsuit could move forward, but the Indiana Supreme Court sent the case back down and authorized the trial court to reconsider. The court then threw out the entire case, vindicating the Archdiocese’s constitutional right to set religious standards for its schools.

Every Catholic school teacher in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis signs an agreement to uphold the teachings of the Catholic Church in word and deed. In 2017, Joshua Payne-Elliott, who taught at Cathedral Catholic High School in Indianapolis, entered a same-sex union in violation of both his employment agreement and centuries of Catholic teaching. After an extensive period of discernment and dialogue, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis informed Cathedral High School that if it wanted to remain affiliated with the Catholic Church, it needed to require its teachers to uphold Church teaching. After Cathedral separated from Mr. Payne-Elliott and provided him with a settlement, he sued the Archdiocese.

“If the First Amendment means anything, it means the government can’t punish the Catholic Church for asking Catholic educators to support Catholic teaching,” said Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket, which is representing the Archdiocese. “This has always been a very simple case, because the Supreme Court has repeatedly affirmed the freedom of religious schools to choose teachers who support their religious faith.”

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PETITION: Demand US Senate REJECT Anti-Life, Anti-Christian 'Equality Act'!
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The so-called 'Equality Act' contains deadly poison for Christian democracy in the United States. And, its harmless-sounding name tries to hide this insidious reality.

But, unfortunately, Pelosi and company have JUST PASSED this morally repugnant bill in the US House of Representatives.

Pro-life and pro-family organizations, as well as Christian churches and the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, and freedom-loving groups everywhere, are now sounding the alarm.

Wake up, America, this is RED ALERT time!

This petition, therefore, calls on every US Senator to vigorously oppose and reject this bill.

Yes, it's THAT important.

The bill has nothing to do with "equality," or with extending the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which is how it is being touted by the leftists in the mainstream media.

It is, rather, one of the MOST EXTREME anti-life, pro-LGBT indoctrination bills ever proposed.

It has been described as a short-list of the worst possible elements of the Radical Left's agenda in Congress...and, REMEMBER, it has just passed the House!

We need to tell all US Senators, in no uncertain terms, that WE WILL NOT ACCEPT this outrageous attack on our freedoms and on life, itself!

SIGN AND SHARE THIS URGENT PETITION, TODAY!

And, after you have signed this petition, please CLICK HERE to DIRECTLY CONTACT YOUR U.S. SENATORS, and tell them to oppose this assault on our freedoms of thought, speech, conscience and religion.

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Below are some of the devastating critiques of 'Equality Act,' leveled by some of the best conservative, Christian minds in the country.

ON LIFE:

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), has written that the 'Equality Act' will include, "the largest expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion this country has ever seen.” 

"Under this big new umbrella of 'discrimination,'" continued Perkins, "any American who doesn’t want to fund, offer, perform, or participate in abortion on demand will have no real choice. They can conform — or they can be punished."

"Every wall that’s been built between abortion and the government would come crashing down, including the Hyde Amendment, the pro-conscience Weldon Amendment, and several international barriers that keep our country from exporting abortion."

ON CHRISTIANITY, RELIGIOUS FREEDOM and LGBT INDOCTRINATION:

Lloyd Marcus, of the American Thinker publication, has written about the 'Equality Act' in the following terms:

"LGBTQ enforcer and homosexual Democrat congressman David Cicilline is sponsor of the Equality Act. Cicilline's evil bill is the most aggressive assault on our constitutional religious liberties in U.S. history...If the Equality Act becomes the law of the land, every outrageous, tyrannical demand [of LGBTQ activists/enforcers] will become reality."

And, Liberty Counsel Action, a law and policy education, training and advocacy organization which, among other things, advances religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and the family has extensively criticized the 'Equality Act'.

On their webpage, dedicated to analyzing the 'Equality Act', which you can access below, Liberty Counsel Action state: "The 'Equality' Act' elevates 'sexual orientation and gender identity' to the same protected category as race. It will violate the religious freedom of Americans in numerous ways."

The go on to list the areas of life which this will affect: "It will impact all employers, including religious and non-profit organizations; contractors; houses of worship; public, private, and religious schools; curriculum; bathrooms; sports; daycare providers; shelters; hospitals; places of gatherings; entertainment providers; counselors; foster care and adoption; biological parents; landlords; anywhere providing a “good, service, or program,” including those advertised online; transportation drivers; and all local, state, and federal entities and many other areas."

And, as they note: "[T]here is NO RELIGIOUS EXEMPTION to this bill!"

Taking into account all of these potential threats to Christian democracy, Life and religious freedom, it is easy to see how the so-called 'Equality Act' has been called a "poison pill."

It is imperative that the US Senate vigorously reject this bill, AND EXPOSE IT FOR WHAT IT REALLY IS.

Please SIGN this urgent petition, TODAY!

The following links will take you to more information about the 'Equality Act'

The House version of the so-called 'Equality Act' (HR 5): http://lc.org/PDFs/Attachments2PRsLAs/2019/031819EqualityActHR5.pdf

Liberty Counsel Action's full analysis of the so-called 'Equality Act': https://www.lcaction.org/HR5 and https://lc.org/newsroom/details/022421-equality-act-guts-religious-freedom-1

LifeSiteNews opinion and analysis of the so-called 'Equality Act':

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/demi-lovatos-rants-may-sound-crazy-but-trans-activists-get-the-last-laugh-if-equality-act-becomes-law

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/marjorie-taylor-greene-calls-equality-act-disgusting-in-epic-rant-against-it

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/breaking-us-house-passes-pro-abortion-equality-act

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/the-equality-act-is-the-biggest-threat-to-religious-freedom-in-us-history

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/radical-lgbt-equality-act-to-be-introduced-in-house-next-week-nancy-pelosi-announces

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/last-pro-life-house-democrat-votes-for-extreme-pro-abortion-equality-act

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/biden-names-pro-lgbt-equality-act-as-top-priority-if-elected

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The Supreme Court has long recognized that the Constitution protects the personnel decisions of churches and religious schools. The Court’s most recent decision came earlier this year in Becket’s landmark cases, Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James Catholic School v. Biel, in which the Supreme Court affirmed the right of religious organizations to “autonomy” in matters of faith, doctrine, and internal governance. Prior to that, the Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the same right in EEOC v. Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School, another Becket case. Today, the Indiana court applied that principle and affirmed that the government has no business interfering in religious standards at religious schools.

In September 2020, both the United States Department of Justice and the State of Indiana filed briefs in the case, arguing that “settled law on the church-autonomy doctrine makes clear that the First Amendment prohibits the [lawsuit].” It is not yet clear if the plaintiff intends to appeal.

For more information or to arrange an interview with a Becket attorney, contact Ryan Colby at [email protected] or 202-349-7219. Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.

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