Woods v. Union Gospel Mission

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The ACLU and the ACLU of Washington jointly filed an amici brief with the Washington Supreme Court in Woods v. Union Gospel Mission on August 26th, 2019. Attorney Matthew Woods was denied employment by Union Gospel Mission (UGM) due to his sexual orientation, so he filed suit under the Washington Law Against Discrimination. UGM argued that as a religious entity, they fall within WLAD's statutory exemption for religious employers. Mr. Wood's suit and our brief argue that this application of the exemption allows for unconstitutional discrimination. We asked the Court to affirm that religious entities can still be subject to the rigors of judicial review without courts becoming entangled in religious matters. Religious entities are not above the law and should not be allowed to discriminate.