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Canada's Split Decision on Hiring

Experts, organizations see mixed victory in recent court ruling.

Can Christian organizations in Canada discriminate based on religion when hiring employees? Such groups are still attempting to figure that out, months after a court decision was supposed to answer that question.

An Ontario Divisional Court ruled in May that Christian organizations can't take religion into account when hiring support employees. But at the same time, the decision gave Christian organizations more hiring freedoms than they had under earlier rulings, experts said.

Connie Heintz filed suit against her employer, Christian Horizons, in 2001 for discriminating against her because she was a lesbian. Christian Horizons, which ministers to the developmentally disabled, requires each employee to sign a Lifestyle and Morality Statement. The statement identifies unacceptable behavior, including adultery and homosexual relationships.

Heintz signed the statement when hired in 1995, but entered into a same-sex relationship in 1999.

Canadian law bars discriminatory hiring. However, religious ...

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