Church: Free speech protects teacher firing

INDIANAPOLIS — Catholic church leaders in Indianapolis are citing the First Amendment as a defense to a lawsuit filed by a teacher who was fired because he’s in a same-sex marriage.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis asked a judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit by Joshua Payne-Elliott, who worked at Cathedral High School for 13 years. The school fired him in June on orders from the archdiocese.

Payne-Elliott says the church illegally interfered in his contract with the school. But in a court filing, the archdiocese says its decisions are protected by the First Amendment and the separation of church and state.

Payne-Elliott’s spouse, Layton Payne-Elliott, teaches at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. Brebeuf refused to fire Layton. The archdiocese said it no longer recognizes Brebeuf as a Catholic institution. 

Goodwill store gets cigar box, gun

ANDERSON — A Goodwill store in Anderson says it discovered an old unloaded revolver inside a cigar box among the items donated by an anonymous person Monday.

The gun was turned over to police. Maj. Joel Sandefur tells The Herald Bulletin says he’s heard similar stories about unusual donations to thrift shops, but typically not guns.

Sam Perry, a spokesman for the Goodwill store, says “a sword, a spear” – they’ve seen it all. The store doesn’t accept firearms.

Sandefur says the owner can contact police and recover the gun if it was dropped off by mistake. 

Nestle cutting 40 jobs at ice cream center

FORT WAYNE — Some jobs are melting at an ice cream distribution center in Fort Wayne.

Nestle Dreyer’s Ice Cream says 40 jobs are being cut but a large workforce will remain in place. A spokeswoman, Laura Davenport, says the state of Indiana had been mistakenly told that an ice cream plant and distribution center would close.

Nestle says it’s switching to a warehouse model of delivery.

The Journal Gazette reports that Nestle acquired a majority stake in Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream in 2002. Dreyer’s ice cream is sold under the Dreyer’s brand in the western United States and as Edy’s in the east. 

– The Associated Press

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