A federal court of appeals took the side of mandatory workplace LGBTQ indoctrination sessions by denying the case of Raymond Zdunski. His legal team promises to take it all the way to SCOTUS. Zdunski’s rights were violated “for no other reason than his refusal to be indoctrinated with anti-biblical teaching.”
Court rules against Christian
On Monday, March 13, the Manhattan-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court’s decision denying Raymond Zdunski’s request for religious accommodations.
He was fired from his job with a school district in 2018, “after refusing to attend mandatory workplace LGBTQ training.”
The office worker was employed by the Erie 2-Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Everyone calls it BOCES. For seven years, Zdunski labored diligently without incident at their central business office in Fredonia as an account clerk.
“It just seems like the country is against the Christian way of life, and it’s for everything else. We’re not allowed to practice our way of life but anyone else can, it seems.”
—Raymond Zdunski, fired for refusing LGBTQ training that goes against his Christian faith pic.twitter.com/CoBe7IPHo6
— William Wolfe, Fellow Fundamentalist 🇺🇸 (@William_E_Wolfe) March 16, 2023
He earned around $32,000 each year and “was promoted to senior account clerk a week before being fired.” He never expected to end up with a federal court case. Everything was just fine and dandy until the district tried to force classes “aimed at changing his religious beliefs about gender and sexuality.”
That, Zdunski told his employer was “against his religion as a devout Christian.” They ignored his objections. He filed a lawsuit. The court ignored his objections. His first suit asked for “reinstatement, back pay and $10 million in damages.” It didn’t get far.
District Judge Geoffrey W. Crawford dismissed the case a year ago. On Monday, the 2nd Circuit agreed “and backed BOCES for terminating the Ashville, New York, man. Mandatory classes don’t count as “unlawful religious discrimination.”
Mandatory training program
Mandatory means mandatory, both judges decided. The court doesn’t care if the classes upset Christians. The state made the training “compulsory” and the district had to comply. They had to put them on and Zdunski had to attend, offended or not.
Queer acceptance indoctrination is “designed to facilitate a safe environment for students and staff.” Unless they’re Christian. “It just seems like the country is against the Christian way of life, and it’s for everything else,” Zdunski responds. “We’re not allowed to practice our way of life but anyone else can, it seems.”
BOCES district superintendent and CEO David O’Rourke maintains that “Zdunski was not fired because of his religious beliefs.” Only because “he continuously refused to attend the mandatory training program.” Which violated his christian beliefs.
Raymond Zdunski, now an office administrator for a tree service company, said losing his BOCES job for refusing to attend the training session amounted to "unlawful religious discrimination." https://t.co/awo4b2JXnQ
— The Buffalo News (@TheBuffaloNews) March 14, 2023
O’Rourke happily agreed with both court decisions, noting “the organization was committed to creating a safe environment for all.” Except Christians.
O’Rourke didn’t want to mention that “after refusing to take part in the training session, Zdunski asked his bosses to schedule a mandatory training session concerning the persecution of Christians.” That didn’t fly far. The court insists that letting one Christian out of the mandatory indoctrination scheme renders the whole program meaningless. After all, they are the ones meant to be reprogrammed by it.
“If BOCES allowed Zdunski to skip the training, it would have violated the requirements in the Dignity for All Students Act for anti-discrimination training that all BOCES employees must complete as a condition of their employment.” Zdunski’s lawyer, Kristina S. Heuser, says she’ll see what the U.S. Supreme Court has to say about it before she takes that as the final answer.