A lesbian chef in New York has been awarded $1.6 million, the equivalent of £1,008,675) in damages and compensation after her boss openly prayed for her to be healed.
Mirella Salemi was forced by her boss Edward Globokar to take part in prayer meeting in which he prayed for her to be ‘healed’ of her gayness. The meetings occurred at Mr Globokar’s restaurant, Mary Ann’s Mexican, in West Broadway, Manhattan. Ms Salemi worked at the restaurant for six years before quitting in 2007.
All employers were included in the prayer meetings, and while Ms Salemi was singled out due to her sexuality, Mr Globokar told other employees they faced eternal damnation unless they went to church.
Derek Smith, Ms Salemi’s lawyer, said in a statement: “He not only threatened her soul, but he also threatened her livelihood. He thought praying might cure her of her sexuality, but she is someone who didn’t need to be saved.”
The court ruled that Mr Globokar should pay $1.2 million in punitive damages and $400,000 in compensation for Ms Salemi.