KY Court: Atheism Is a Protected Class, but Sexual Orientation Isn’t

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A Kentucky federal court recently allowed a former employee’s claim of harassment based on his atheism to proceed but rejected his claim of harassment based on his coworkers’ beliefs about his sexual orientation.

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Jeffrey Queen worked as a firefighter for the city of Bowling Green. Queen is an atheist—a fact he shared with his coworkers. He alleged that his colleagues referred to individuals with non-Christian beliefs as “pagan,” asked him if he had been “saved,” told him to “get right with Jesus,” and said atheists “deserved to burn.” He also claimed the

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