A Muslim-American man who wanted to enroll in the New York City Police Department’s Police Academy is suing the NYPD, claiming his religious liberty rights were violated because he was denied a job after saying he wants to lock up all gay people.
At stake are supposed issues of religious liberty, as well as First Amendment freedom of speech.
The New York Post identifies the man suing the Police Department as “Farhan Doe,” and reports:
Doe deserves to be in the NYPD, despite checking the “yes” box next to the question, “Do you believe that homosexuals should be locked up,” in 2009, when he applied, said his lawyer, Jerold Levine.
When Doe — who works as an auxiliary cop in Brooklyn — applied to the Police Academy the next year, he’d softened his views, still believing homosexuality is a sin, but no longer believing gays should be arrested, Levine said.
“They pro forma denied him again — saying he couldn’t possibly be a police officer,” the lawyer said. “The First Amendment is very clear, saying that you can’t discriminate against someone because they have a view you do not like,” he said.
While the NYPD could take action if he acted out in an anti-gay manner, they can’t bar Doe from the force for anti-gay thoughts, the lawyer said.
The Advocate adds:
This question of whether discrimination is actually religious liberty is surfacing all over the country, with a New Mexico court ruling earlier this month that a wedding photographer couldn’t cite the Bible as a reason to deny service to a customer because of a state anti-discrimination law.
And in several cases of school teachersusing Facebook to broadcast statements against same-sex marriage and homosexuality in general, lawyers have argued it’s free speech that shouldn’t lead to losing their jobs.
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