June 2020 Church & State Magazine - June 2020

Ky. Firefighter Wins Right To Pursue Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

  Ky. Firefighter Wins Right To Pursue Religious Discrimination Lawsuit

A former firefighter in Bowling Green, Ky., will be allowed to proceed with a lawsuit claiming he was subjected to harassment due to his atheistic beliefs, thanks to a federal appeals court ruling.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Jeffrey Queen, who worked for the Bowling Green Fire Department from 2011-16. During his time with the department, Queen says he was forced to attend a Bible study and pressured to go to church.

Queen says that when he objected to the treatment, his colleagues ridiculed his beliefs and made racist, sexist and homophobic remarks, reported the Bowling Green Daily News. Queen says that when he brought the issue to Capt. Dustin Rockrohr in 2012, Rockrohr advised him to get another job.

City officials argued that they and the fire department were immune from Queen’s civil lawsuit, but the appeals court disagreed. The case will now go back to a lower court for trial.

Queen is being represented in court by Louisville attorneys Michele Henry and Aaron Bentley. Henry is a member of Americans United’s Board of Trustees.

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