‘The Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife…’
(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A former North Carolina deputy honored his wife by following the Billy Graham Rule, but the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fired him for refusing to train a female recruit by himself.
Now Manuel Torres, 51, has sued his former employer for religious discrimination, arguing that the sheriff’s office violated his civil rights by demanding that he disobey his Christian convictions, WCNC reported.
“Torres holds the strong and sincere religious belief that the Holy Bible prohibits him, as a married man, from being alone for extended periods with a female who is not his wife,” according to the federal lawsuit, which was filed July 31 in North Carolina.
Torres also serves as a deacon at the East Sanford Baptist Church in Sanford, North Carolina, The Herald Sun reported.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Office assigned Torres to train the female recruit in 2017.
Torres submitted a religious accommodation request, but his sergeant denied it.
After the religious accommodation request, he was alienated from the police force, even being “refused back up during a response to a firearm related incident,” WCNC reported.
Torres took the religious accommodation request higher-ups. One of them reportedly “expressed his anger” that Torres continued to pursue the accommodation.
Then the Lee County Sheriff’s Office fired him in September 2017 without providing reasons.
“Defendant LCSO fired Plaintiff because he continued to request a religious accommodation from a job duty that violated his sincerely held religious beliefs and complained about religious discrimination,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit seeks $300,000 in compensation for religious discrimination.
Training a female police officer would have entailed Torres spending “significant periods of time alone in his patrol car with the female officer trainee,” the lawsuit states.
“The job duty of training female deputies, in such a manner, violates [Torres’] religious beliefs against being alone for periods of time with female(s) who is/are not his wife and leaving the appearance of sinful conduct on his part,” the lawsuit said.