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NO TAX FUNDS TO SUBSIDIZE DISCRIMINATION To the editor: As Legal Times recently reported, the D.C. Court of Appeals has, for the first time, expressly applied to the D.C. Human Rights Act the “ministerial exception” read into other civil rights laws by a number of other courts because of the First Amendment [ Inadmissible, "Finding Religion," June 13, 2005, Page 4]. This “exception” prohibits courts from exercising jurisdiction over employment discrimination suits involving employees of religious institutions who are ministers or whose job functions include serving the “spiritual and pastoral mission” of the employer, effectively exempting the religious organization from civil rights laws. The ruling in this case prevented the former principal of a local Catholic elementary school from pursuing her claim of race discrimination in employment against the Archdiocese of Washington. Whatever the merits of such an exception in the case of truly private religious schools, many religious schools in D.C., including the one involved in this lawsuit, are now subsidized by public dollars as a result of the new, federally funded D.C. voucher program, under which millions of taxpayer dollars are being spent annually to send students to religious and other private schools. While the alleged discrimination in this case occurred prior to the existence of the voucher program, the case raises the significant question of whether religious schools in D.C. subsidized by public funds will nonetheless be allowed to engage in discrimination otherwise prohibited by the Human Rights Act. Similar problems of publicly funded discrimination are posed by so-called faith-based government programs, in which religious organizations are given taxpayer monies to carry out social services programs, but some, nonetheless, insist on their “right” as religious groups to be exempt from anti-discrimination laws. Public funds should not be used to subsidize discrimination, and religious institutions that choose to accept such funds should have to play by the same rules as everyone else. Ralph G. Neas President People for the American Way Foundation Washington, D.C. BUT WHAT DOES HIS FAMILY THINK ABOUT THAT DEAL? To the editor: I read and was very intrigued by the article about Brian Leitch and the millions of dollars in fees his firm earned [ Bringing US Airways In for a Landing," June 27, 2005, Page 1]. Here’s the questions for the followup article that the rest of us would probably like to read: 1. What did the kids say when dad announced, “Sorry, cruise canceled”? 2. How does one get to a position where he has so little control over his life that the long-awaited extended vacation is interrupted by business? 3. Were there no other lawyers at his firm who were smart enough to “make the pitch”? 4. Does his family hide his cell phone now when they are on vacation? The sad part about the article is that there are some law students and young lawyers who think that the situation described is a goal � to be so powerful/ smart/sought-after that the world can’t go on without you. What would have happened if he had said “Hell, no”? I think it should be some sort of a warning. Something is wrong if you have to strand your family on an island in exchange for a business deal, no matter how nice the accommodations. Benjamin W. Glass III Fairfax, Va.

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