Sheriff forbids employees from living in sin: A Bible-thumping sheriff in North Carolina is under fire after issuing a new policy forbidding employees from cohabitation without being “officially married according to the law and word of God.”
Friendly Atheist reports:
The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina has a brand new policy for all employees moving forward: If you decide to move in with your boyfriend or girlfriend before getting married, you could be fired since you’re making God sad.
A news release via Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) notes:
A new religious discriminatory policy has raised serious legal and constitutional issues, the Freedom From Religion Foundation has warned the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office.
FFRF was made aware that the sheriff’s office has impermissibly endorsed religion through threats to the employment of those who do not comply with a new policy:
FFRF has written to the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office requesting that it rescind this blatantly unconstitutional policy and immediately cease its enforcement. The sheriff’s office cannot endorse any religion and should not issue religiously discriminatory policies to be enforced against its employees, FFRF reminds the department.
The new policy issued by Sheriff Ralph Kersey states:
Effective immediately!The policy has been changed in reference to Cohabitation. The policy change will be distributed on Monday. It will be prohibited for you to live with another while employed at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office unless you are officially married according to the law and word of God, sisters, brothers, or family by blood. This shall not apply to those whom are currently cohabitating. However, if your current relationship with the other party should cease, you will comply with the new policy change.
In a letter to FFRF Legal Fellow Brendan Johnson writes:
By instating a policy that limits employees’ behavior outside of work to that which you deem to be ‘according to the law and word of God,’ your office unconstitutionally promoted religion and threatens to punish those who believe differently.
And FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor opines:
This policy rests on archaic notions of biblical morality that have no place dictating modern workplace guidelines. It is a staggering violation of the rights of conscience of every Scotland County Sheriff’s Office employee.
In short, Sheriff Ralph Kersey is a bully and an idiot. His obnoxious and unreasonable demands demonstrate that he is unfit to serve in any capacity as an officer of the law. He brings shame and ridicule to Scotland County, and should be removed from office immediately.
Bottom line: The Scotland County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina has issued a new policy forbidding employees from cohabitation without being “officially married according to the law and word of God.”