Employee's premarital sex NOT immoral

In this recent latest of Leus vs. St. Scholastica's College, the Supreme Court held that a female teacher working as a non-teaching staff in a sectarian school cannot be dismissed on grounds of premarital sexual relations even if it resulted in her getting pregnant. [1] Public and secular morality should determine the prevailing norms of conduct, not religious morality.

[2] The employee's pregnancy out of wedlock is not a disgraceful or immoral conduct since she and the father of her child have no impediment to marry each other. (G.R. No. 187226; January 28, 2015)

The morality referred to in the law is public and necessarily secular, not religious. Religious teachings as expressed in public debate may influence the civil public order but public moral disputes may be resolved only on grounds articulable in secular terms. Otherwise, if government relies upon religious beliefs in formulating public policies and morals, the resulting policies and morals would require conformity to what some might regard as religious programs or agenda.The non-believers would therefore be compelled to conform to a standard of conduct buttressed by a religious belief, i.e., to a "compelled religion," anathema to religious freedom. Likewise, if government based its actions upon religious beliefs, it would tacitly approve or endorse that belief and thereby also tacitly disapprove contrary religious or non-religious views that would not support the policy. As a result, government will not provide full religious freedom for all its citizens, or even make it appear that those whose beliefs are disapproved are second-class citizens. Expansive religious freedom therefore requires that government be neutral in matters of religion; governmental reliance upon religious justification is inconsistent with this policy of neutrality. (G.R. No. 187226; January 28, 2015)

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