Union Gospel Mission helps the homeless by providing food and shelter, addiction recovery, job help, and even legal services. That last ministry effort is what got Union in trouble: An attorney applied for the legal services position in 2017 but was turned away over his beliefs and then sued the ministry.
"Seattle's Union Gospel Mission,” says Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Jake Warner, “is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to decide a simple question: Can the government force a religious organization to hire someone who does not share its beliefs or mission. And we believe the answer to that question is no."
If the nation’s highest court refuses to hear the case, Warner says it will be the end of Union Gospel Mission.
“They would be put to the choice: Either shut down and stop serving the homeless,” he warns, “or give up its biblical beliefs. And that's not an acceptable choice for a religious organization that has served the city of Seattle for nearly 80 years."
The Washington Supreme Court has held that the government can interfere with the decisions of a church or religious organization over whether they can hire those who share their beliefs.