A social worker said she was fired for refusing to counsel a gay couple due to her religious beliefs.
In a federal lawsuit, Kathleen Lorentzen claims she could no longer counsel the couple because she is Catholic.
After Lorentzen raised concerns with her employer, she said she was targeted by her supervisors.
She filed a lawsuit against her former employer HealthSource Saginaw where she worked from 2011 until last September.
Lorentzen’s attorney, B. Tyler Brooks, said on many occasions she provided counseling to gay individuals during her time with the company, but when she was asked to continue to provide marriage counseling to a gay couple she said her religious beliefs prevented her from doing so.
Brooks said his client simply asked that her case be transferred to another counselor.
“Even its medical director upon learning that Ms. Lorentzen has been terminated said not only should he have been involved before any decision like that was made, but that would have been very easy and that would have been the proper thing to do,” Brooks said.
The lawsuit goes on to say Lorentzen’s supervisor told her she had to be a social worker first and a Catholic second. Shortly afterward she received a termination letter in the mail from HealthSource Saginaw.
HealthSource Saginaw referred TV5 to its attorney handling the case.
“HealthSource Saginaw steadfastly denies Ms. Lorentzen’s fundamentally false allegations and is extremely disheartened by her choice to knowingly publish a work of fiction disguised as a legal pleading. Due to the fact that litigation is pending neither I nor HealthSource Saginaw will issue any public comment beyond this: HealthSource Saginaw is committed to prohibiting all forms of illegal discrimination and retaliation on its premises,” said Thomas Vincent, president and CEO of Plunkett Cooney Attorneys at Law.
Lorentzen's attorney said they have not specified a particular dollar amount they are seeking in the lawsuit.
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