Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Fuller Theological Seminary for Expelling Homosexual Students
Oct 16, 2020
A federal judge in California dismissed a lawsuit against a Christian seminary, affirming its right to hold a biblical understanding of sexuality and not be denied federal funding because of it.
Judge Tosses Discrimination Lawsuit Against Fuller Theological Seminary for Dismissing Homosexual Students
Last year, Fuller Theological Seminary expelled two graduate students pursuing their Master of Divinity, Nathan Brittsan and Joanna Maxon, because they entered into same-sex marriages while enrolled at the school. The two students filed a lawsuit against the seminary, claiming it had violated the anti-discrimination protections of Title IX of the federal Education Amendments and should no longer be eligible for federal funding.
This week, District Judge Consuelo Marshall ruled that Fuller qualified under the religious exemption to Title IX and threw out the case, writing, “A plain reading of [federal civil rights law] together with the Religious Organization Exemption indicates that the prohibition of sexual discrimination provided by Section 1681 ‘shall not apply’ to an educational institution if it ‘is controlled by a religious organization.’”
Attorneys representing Fuller Theological Seminary said the ruling marks the first time a federal court has recognized a religious liberty exemption for faith-based educational institutions. Daniel Blomberg, a senior attorney for religious liberties group Becket, who represented Fuller, applauded Marshall’s ruling saying, “It would create a huge establishment clause [issue] if you have government agents going in and telling a seminary how to do their job and practice their faith.”
Court Dismisses LGBT Anti-Discrimination Lawsuit Against Fuller Seminary
US court says evangelical seminary has right to expel students for same-sex marriage