PHOENIX, April 29, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An evangelical Christian, fired from her job for asking a subordinate to come to church with her, and for telling her that her homosexuality was a sin, has lost an appeal against her employer. Evelyn Bodett charged that her being fired was an act of religious discrimination; the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday in favor of the defendant, Cox Communications.
Cox said they fired Bodett for anti-homosexual harassment, which is against company policy. Bodett’s subordinate, Kelly Carson, raised the issue after accepting a transfer to another city.
Bodett was given a green light to sue her employer based on the judgment of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Bodett’s deposition in the suit brought before the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona admitted that she told Carson that homosexuality was a sin, and that if Carson decided to pursue another homosexual relationship after the failure of a previous one, Bodett would be disappointed. Bodett argued that the nature of her comments did not amount to harassment, and that the harassment charge was being used as an excuse for firing her.
The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, not exactly a surprise decision for them. The women that sued her prayed with her on the day of the supposed discrimination and even went to church with her at least once. She filed a complaint only when she transfered to another office. So Bodett gets fired for saying that the turmoil in this women’s life was because of her homosexual relationships.
Here is some of the text from their decision.
Evelyn Bodett, a white female approximately 52 years of
age, is an evangelical Christian and, at the time of these
events, an 18-year employee of Cox and its predecessor,
American Cable. Prior to her termination on November 30,
2000, Bodett was a Quality Assurance Manager who supervised
thirteen employees, including Kelley Carson. Carson is
openly gay and Bodett was aware of this when Carson came
under her direct supervision. When they began working
together, Bodett told Carson that homosexuality was against
her Christian beliefs. Carson stated at her deposition that she
did not feel threatened or harassed by this comment at the
time. During her seventeen years of employment with Cox
prior to the incidents described herein, Bodett had never
received any complaints nor been reprimanded for any allegation
In June of 2000, Carson reported to Bodett for one of several
regularly scheduled “coaching” sessions. According to
Bodett, Carson was in a “state of emotional distress,” because
she had recently broken up with her partner and was concerned
she could no longer afford to make house payments.
Carson asked for Bodett’s advice, at which point, Bodett told
Carson that “the relationship she was in, was probably the
cause of the turmoil in her life,” that “God’s design for a
relationship was between a man and a woman,” and “that
homosexuality is wrong, [and] considered by God to be a sin
. . . .”4 On Carson’s suggestion, Bodett shut the door and the
two prayed together.5 Carson referred to this event as when
Bodett “made [her] born again.” Shortly thereafter, Carson
attended church with Bodett at least once. Bodett also
informed Carson about a “Women of Faith Conference,” and
offered to purchase a ticket for Carson despite the fact that
According to Bodett’s deposition, she told Carson that homosexuality
was a sin on at least three occasions.
Bodett argues that who shut the door is a question of material fact over
which a dispute exists, despite her admission under oath that she herself
shut the door.