HARRISON COUNTY, Ind. — An Indiana woman who states she was fired for refusing to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses despite her Christian convictions has filed a lawsuit in federal court against her former employer.
Linda Summers worked for the Harrison County clerk’s office for over six years, that is, until last December when she was allegedly terminated after expressing her desire to opt-out of issuing licenses to homosexuals because she is a Christian.
According to a complaint filed in federal court, County Clerk Sally Whitis sent an email to employees last October after the Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court ruling declaring that the state must recognize same-sex nuptials. The correspondence advised workers that the clerk’s office must now process applications for homosexuals.
“Even though it may be against your personal beliefs, we are required by state law to process their applications,” it also said. “We are only doing the paperwork and not performing their ceremony.”
In December, Summers was asked to process an application for a same-sex twosome, and in turn, wrote a letter to Whitis requesting a religious accommodation. She pointed to the biblical law in the Book of Leviticus and said that not only is homosexual behavior a sin, but she herself would be sinning if she processed the paperwork. Summers also advised that other co-workers had offered to process those particular documents for her.
The following day, Summers was terminated for insubordination.
Therefore, Summers filed a legal challenge against Whitis and Harrison County in general, accusing the entities of religious discrimination. The county has a policy prohibiting discrimination on the basis of “race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin, disability, military status, or any other classification under applicable law.”
“The foregoing discharge occurred without any attempt by the defendant to accommodate plaintiff and her religious beliefs, despite the fact that plaintiff made her sincerely-held beliefs known to Defendant Whitis, requested a reasonable accommodation, and that Section 1.4 of the Harrison County Personnel Policies Handbook [prohibits discrimination],” the complaint reads.
“Summers has a sincerely held religious belief, based upon the tenants of her faith and biblical teaching, such as Leviticus 18:22; Romans 1:26-27, I Cor. 6:9-10; and I Tim 1:9-10, that it is a sin for persons of the same sex to engage in sexual relations and, based upon Genesis 2:18-25, and other biblical authority, that persons of the same sex cannot and should not be morally or legally recognized as husband and wife, and that God will judge individual Christians, as well as the society of which they are a part, who condone or institute same sex marriages,” it says.
Summers is now seeking compensation for lost wages as well as damages for suffering discrimination.
“She is very upset and certainly believes that it’s appropriate to vindicate her motivation,” attorney Richard Masters told the Associated Press.
Whitis is not commenting to reporters on the matter at this time.