Reuters, Aug. 5, 2002
ST. PAUL, Minn. (Reuters) – Two prison employees reprimanded for reading their Bibles in silent protest of an employer-sponsored training session on homosexuality have been awarded $78,000 in damages by a federal jury, their attorney said on Friday.
The U.S. District Court jury on Thursday agreed that the workers were discriminated against during the 1997 diversity training session entitled, “Gays and Lesbians in the Workplace,” said attorney Francis Manion of The American Center for Law and Justice, a Virginia-based public interest firm that frequently supports religious causes.
The employees, Thomas Altman and Ken Yackly, contended in their lawsuit that their silent objection to the mandatory session put on by Minnesota’s Department of Corrections was to read silently from their Bibles. The lawsuit charged that the session amounted to state-sponsored indoctrination aimed at changing their religious beliefs about homosexuality.