Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Sep 8, 2023 / 12:15 pm
A Catholic bookstore based in Jacksonville, Florida, will not be forced to use a transgender person’s preferred pronouns when they are different from his or her biological sex, according to a settlement agreement reached with the city.
In the settlement, filed on Sept. 7, the City of Jacksonville recognized the Queen of Angels bookstore as “a religious organization under Jacksonville’s religious organization exemption,” which is an exemption that applies to the city’s anti-discrimination provisions about homosexual and transgender people.
Queen of Angels initially filed a lawsuit back in February out of concern that a new citywide anti-discrimination policy could force the bookstore to promote messages that go against the Catholic faith of the owners and workers. The policy, added in 2020, prohibits discrimination against a person who is lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender.
“Free speech is for everyone,” Hal Frampton, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, who represented Queen of Angels in the lawsuit, said in a statement.