Florida State University Settles Lawsuit with Roman Catholic Student Penalized for His Religious Beliefs

Black lives matter to leftists when black Americans die at the hands of anyone who is not black. The lives of black unborn babies don’t matter. Blacks wound and kill other blacks every week in cities like Chicago, but these lives don’t seem to matter, either. The stories don’t go global. No one takes to the streets. These acts of violence don’t benefit the cause.

Black Lives Matter (BLM) seeks to “disrupt” the traditional family and supports homosexuality and “transgenderism,” which makes it incompatible with religious values. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, promotes marriage between one man and one woman and opposes homosexuality.

Jack Denton, a Roman Catholic student at Florida State University (FSU), president of the Student Senate (for which he was paid), and a member of the Catholic Student Union, expressed concern after a fellow member of the latter group encouraged financial support for BLM, Reclaim the Block, and the ACLU. Through a private group chat with his fellow Roman Catholics, Denton reminded them that these groups advocate things that are anti-Catholic.

“If I stay silent while my brothers and sisters may be supporting an organization that promotes grave evils,” Denton wrote via group chat, “I have sinned through my silence.”

A student took screenshots of Denton’s private messages and blasted them on social media. According to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents Denton, members of the group mocked him and misrepresented what he wrote. He said most major organizations on campus condemned him and called for his removal as Student Senate president. A student who supports Denton called a seven-hour Zoom meeting about the matter an “open firing squad” against Denton.

Denton was removed as president, and ADF filed a lawsuit on his behalf on First Amendment grounds. The ADF said that FSU is government-funded, so that made Denton a government employee who was fired for his religion.

ADF announced that FSU has agreed to settle the lawsuit (emphasis added):

Under the settlement agreement, reached in Denton v. Hecht, Florida State University has agreed to issue a statement affirming the school’s commitment to protecting students’ First Amendment rights on campus, especially in student government. The school will also restore Denton’s lost wages and pay $10,000 in damages to him, as well as nearly $85,000 in attorneys’ fees.

ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said government-funded schools are supposed to model First Amendment values. “Today’s college students are our future legislators, judges, and voters…Student governments should be encouraging and respecting robust debate and ideas, not silencing and punishing students for expressing their beliefs. We are encouraged that the university has finally reached the right conclusion.”

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  1. Frederick Costello

    The penalty is far too lenient, especially if the student was not restored to the position of president of the Student Senate. The school should know better. It had much time to think about it action.

  2. We have to realize that the majority of college “students” today have been subjected to 13-16 years of Marxist propaganda preached to them by those “educators” approved by the communist democrat party and place by the various teacher’s unions.
    Those in college to day have to fit in, they have to be followers and march lockstep with their classmates or be ostracized and driven our of certain classes or failed if they disagree with the ideology being preached by their propagandist. Today one mut be a lemming in order to survive and graduate.
    They are not taught or allowed to be leaders, they must speak the party line or be dismissed.