Nelli Parisenkova is a Christian and who sincerely believes that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, so she did not want to read books such as "Daddy, Papa, and Me" and "Mommy, Mama, and Me" to children.
When she first approached her supervisor at Bright Horizons, an international childcare program with over 500 locations in the U.S., about the issue, she was reportedly given an informal accommodation. But that changed in April 2022, when another supervisor reported Parisenkova to the human resource department for violating the company policy requiring all staff to celebrate and promote "diversity," including same-sex marriage.
Attorney Paul Jonna of Thomas More Society, the law firm representing Parisenkova, says they could have simply offered to have the books removed from the shelves while she was at work or had one of the other employees read the books that Parisenkova found objectionable. That would have shown tolerance to diversity of thought and beliefs -- the very thing they claim to celebrate.
"There's hundreds if not thousands of people just like Nelli all across the United States that are being pressured by woke organizations to violate their faith or lose their job," Jonna asserts. "We get inundated with requests for help from people all the time. Her case was especially egregious, and we wanted to help set some favorable precedent in this area, as the law is clear that these companies are supposed to accommodate the religious objections of people of faith in this context."
The case, Nelli Parisenkova v. Bright Horizons Children's Center, LLC, et al., has been filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles.
"I think it's very important for employees across the country in this kind of context to know that they have religious liberty rights," Jonna adds. "They've got rights under state and federal law."
So while organizations like Bright Horizons are intent on pushing and promoting a certain ideology and agenda early on for young children, there are laws that protect people with biblical convictions.
Thomas More Society is committed to prosecuting Parisenkova's case to its conclusion and is confident that she will win.