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Students, Alumni, and faculty sue Seattle Pacific University for its discriminatory policies against same-sex relationships. Photo: Seattle Pacific University

Seattle Pacific University is allowed to uphold Anti-LGBTQ policy

Students and staff at Seattle Pacific University are holding the institution accountable for its discriminatory policies against same-sex relationships.

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Seattle Pacific University came under heavy criticism earlier this year after students from the University staged a sit-in protest against the board of trustees’ decision to uphold the institution policy prohibiting the hiring of LGBTQ people, as previously reported by Religion News Service

In a previous report by Al Día News students protested for approximately more than 200 hours, however, it wasn’t until last Friday, after more than 1,080 hours of sit-ins when students realized the University and the Board of Trustees had no intent of properly addressing their concerns and efforts to generate change. As a result, students and staff at Seattle Pacific University filed a lawsuit alleging that six members of the university’s board of trustees use their position of power to “advance the interests of a religious denomination at the expense of the students, alumni, staff, and faculty of the university.” 

However, prior to being sued by students, alumni, and faculty, Seattle Pacific University countersued Washington Attorney General’s office because “its rights are being violated by Washington State Attorney general Bob Ferguson, whose office launched an investigation into the school’s hiring practices,” as reported by Christian Today

The Christian University prohibits same-sex relationships from full-time employment causing friction and prompting Jéaux Rinedahl, an adjunct nursing professor, to file a lawsuit back in January of 2021—for the university’s refusal to hire him full-time because of his sexual orientation. 

“Within the teaching of our religious tradition, we affirm that sexual experience is intended between a man and a woman,” Seattle Pacific University statement stated. 

Despite the countless lawsuits, the Board of trustees announced that it would uphold the university’s sexuality policy back in April. 

Many try to distance themselves from the institutions and seeking jobs and internships but continue to encounter pushbacks. “We’ve had reports of internships/jobs lost or put on hold due to the Board of Trustees decision regarding SPU’s LGBTQIA+ hiring policy,”  Lori Brown, the director of the Center for Career and Calling at Seattle Pacific University wrote in her email as reported by The Chronicle of Higher Education. “If you have an internship or job offer that has been affected by the board’s decision, we in the CCC are here to help.”

The latest lawsuit by students, faculty, and alumni asks for the defendants removable from their positions, a court-appointed receiver to oversee the selection of the new members of the Board of Trustees.

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