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USA News

Leading airline sanctioned for religious discrimination over abortion comments

by Premier Journalist

Aviation company Southwest Airlines has been sanctioned for ignoring a ruling made by a judge in a religious discrimination case.

Prior to the sanctions, the court had sided with flight attendant Charlene Carter, after she hit out at a trade union president for attending a pro-choice march - supporting women's rights to choose to have an abortion.

According to Southwest Airlines, the then-employee wrote “offensive” messages on social media, sharing her own traditional Christian views on the topic.

She was then fired, prompting a legal case within which it was found Southwest Airlines had violated Carter’s right to free speech.

Carter was given her job back and awarded £3.99m ($5.1m) in damages.

The company was ordered to inform all employees that they could not discriminate against their colleagues on the basis of their religious belief – including their stance on abortion.

However, US District Judge Brantley Starr – who presided over the trial – found the airline’s statement “didn’t come close” to that ordered by the court.

Instead, they will now be forced to publish a court-approved statement verbatim.

The airlines lawyers will now have to attend a “religious liberty training course” run by Christian legal advocacy group Aliiance Defending Freedom (ADF).

Southwest Airlines have said they will appeal the ruling, according to BBC News.

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