Federal lawsuit filed against "The Star" - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Federal lawsuit filed against "The Star"

James Patterson James Patterson
Lisa Coffey Lisa Coffey

(The Indianapolis Star is a newsgathering partner of Eyewitness News.)

Scott Swan/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, June 15 - "We don't preach. But, we simply reflect who we are. We're Christians." James Patterson and Lisa Coffey say The Indianapolis Star discriminated against them for their religious beliefs.

So they've filed a federal lawsuit.

Patterson says management became upset after he says he wrote an editorial asking people to pray for US troops in Iraq. "I didn't go around writing editorials every day about Christian beliefs, but I'm a Christian. And, you cannot totally separate who you are from what you write."

Lisa Coffey said her problems began after newspaper editor Dennis Ryerson rejected her proposed series on sodomy.

She said the relationship soured during an email exchange with Ryerson about world views. "He said he didn't believe in absolute truth that people in life search for their own personal views of truth and I told him that I actually believe in the Bible and the Holy Spirit."

Coffey said she was demoted to the copy desk and eventually forced to resign because of her religious beliefs.

The Indianapolis Star won't discuss personnel issues.

But the newspaper did address the employees' complaints to The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A spokesman for The Star said "the EEOC investigated the complaints and dismissed them. We do not discriminate."

Coffey and Patterson disagree with the findings.

Powered by WorldNow