Two former employees of the supermarket chain Kroger are suing after they say the store where they worked discriminated against them for their religious beliefs.
NBC News reported that the lawsuit, filed in federal court on Monday, alleges the two Christian employees refused to wear new company aprons that featured a rainbow heart on them, which they believed was an “endorsement of the LGBTQ community.” The two employees said in the lawsuit that they hold a “religious belief that homosexuality is a sin” and a requested a religious accommodation to wear their nametags over the heart.
The two former employees, 72-year-old Brenda Lawson and 57-year-old Trudy Rickerd, had worked at the Kroger store in Conway, Arkansas for years before they were fired last spring for refusing to wear the aprons, NBC reported.
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The rainbow flag has long been used as a symbol of LGBTQ pride, displayed especially during Pride Month in June. Kroger, however, declined to confirm whether the symbol was intended for pride purposes, telling NBC News in an email that the company cannot comment on pending litigation.
The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, alleges Kroger violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 when it “refused to accommodate the religious beliefs of Lawson and Rickerd, and disciplined and terminated them because of their religious beliefs and in retaliation for requesting a religious accommodation.”
The womens’ lawsuit, according to NBC, says they each “believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible” and “hold a sincerely held religious belief that homosexuality is a sin.” Thus, “wearing the logo showed her advocacy of the [LGBTQ] community, which she could not do.”
The complaint also alleges that Kroger didn’t fire other employees who refused to wear the apron but did not say it was due to religious beliefs. The women are asking the grocery chain to reform its policies and pay the women for “emotional pain and suffering, humiliation, inconvenience, and loss of enjoyment of life,” as well as other damages.
The lawsuit is the latest in a long line of claims from Christians that they have been discriminated against for their faith. The most recent high-profile example is that of Grace Community Church Pastor John MacArthur, who refused to stop holding in-person faith services as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D-CA) pandemic lockdown order. As The Daily Wire previously reported, MacArthur now says he is willing to go to jail over the situation.
“We received a letter with a threat that we could be fined or I could go to jail for a maximum of six months,” MacArthur told Fox News host Laura Ingraham earlier this week. “Of course, my biblical hero apart from the Lord Jesus Christ is the apostle Paul, and when he went into a town, he didn’t ask what the hotel was like, he asked what the jail was like because he knew that’s where he was gonna spend his time. So I don’t mind being a little apostolic if they want to tuck me in a jail.”
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