SEATTLE - A federal judge rejected Seattle Pacific University’s lawsuit to stop an investigation into complaints of LGBTQ discrimination.
Students at the university organized a sit-in over what they describe as an anti-LGBTQ policy, prohibiting the school from hiring gay staff members. Staff and students complained to the Attorney General’s Office, concerned the policy violated civil rights.
On Wednesday, AG Ferguson announced a federal judge dismissed that lawsuit, allowing the inquiry to continue.
"My office respects the religious views of all Washingtonians and the constitutional rights afforded to religious institutions," said Ferguson. "As a person of faith, I share that view. Seattle Pacific University, however, is not above the law. Instead of answering questions about its hiring process, the university filed a federal lawsuit arguing that it is above the law to such an extraordinary degree that my office cannot even send it a letter asking for information about its employment policies. Today, a federal judge appropriately rejected that extreme position. It is our responsibility to uphold Washingtonians’ civil rights, and we plan to do that job."
A student coalition filed a lawsuit against SPU’s Board of Trustees in September.
Anyone who believes they were subject to employment discrimination by SPU is urged to contact the AGO’s Civil Rights Division at email@example.com.