September 5, 2016
by John Kaempf

In Oregon, Keep In Mind That Churches And Other “Bona Fide Religious Institutions” Are Exempt From Laws That Prohibit Employment Discrimination Based On Sexual Orientation Or Marital Status

Oregon and most other states have laws that prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or marital status.

However, Oregon has a statutory exemption to these laws for churches and other religious institutions.

Oregon Revised Statutes “ORS” 659A.006(5) states: “It is not an unlawful employment practice for a bona fide church or other religious institution to take any employment action based on a bona fide religious belief about sexual orientation: (a) In employment positions directly related to the operation of a church or other place of worship, such as clergy, religious instructors and support staff; (b) In employment positions in a nonprofit religious school, nonprofit religious camp, nonprofit religious day care center,***; or (c) In other employment positions that involve religious activities, as long as the employment involved is closely connected with or related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and is not connected with a commercial or business activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or institution.”

Churches and religious schools in other states should determine whether their state has an exemption from employment discrimination laws like Oregon’s exemption.