An appeals court has affirmed a lower
court's ruling awarding a lesbian chef $1.6 million after the owner
of a Mexican restaurant routinely told her gays were “going to go
Mirella Salemi sued Gloria's Tribeca,
Inc., Gloria Tribecamex and principal owner Edward Globokar for
violating the New York City Human Rights Law.
The defendants own the Mexican
restaurant chain Mary Ann's.
Globokar, Salemi's former boss, held
employee prayer meetings inside the West Broadway eatery where Salemi
worked, asking God to heal the workers in the restaurant who were gay.
Salemi left the restaurant in 2007
after six years of employment.
Employees who did not share Globokar's
religious beliefs were reportedly warned that they were looking at
eternal damnation unless they repented.
Globokar's defense included claims that
he was exercising his right to freedom of religion, Courthouse
News Service reported.
“The trial court properly protected
Globokar's First Amendment rights by instructing the jury that he had
a right to express his religious beliefs and practice religion,
providing that he does not discriminate against his employees based
on religion or sexual orientation,” the appeals court said in its