Students expelled for being in same-sex marriages sue Fuller Seminary for discrimination

by Bryan Brammer · Jan 11th, 2020 2:02 pm

Facebook / Fuller Seminary

Two homosexual students have filed a lawsuit against a nondenominational seminary in Pasadena, California for violating a federal anti-discrimination law after they say they were expelled for being in same-sex marriages.

Nathan Brittsan and Joanna Maxon were asked to leave Fuller Theological Seminary once school administrators discovered that both students married someone of the same sex, the lawsuit claims, saying:

"Defendants discriminated against Joanna and Nathan based on their sexual orientation because they expelled Joanna and Nathan for entering into civil same-sex marriages."

Maxon filed her lawsuit in November citing that the seminary was in violation of Title IX which forbids discrimination on the basis of sex according to the Education Amendments of 1972. The lawsuit hinges on whether the definition of "sex" in the 1972 law includes "gender" or "sexual orientation."

Brittsan joined the suit on Tuesday.

Daniel Blomberg, senior counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, is defending Fuller. He said:

"This case is about whether religious groups get to decide how to train their religious leaders, free from government entanglement. In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously that the First Amendment commits these kinds of issues to religious groups to decide, not the courts. A healthy separation of church and state demands nothing less."

The federal lawsuit seeks more than $1 million in damages and is the first of its kind against a Christian seminary.


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