Seattle Pacific Trustees Sued Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Hiring Policy | Inside Higher Ed

A protracted-running battle between Seattle Pacific College’s management and different campus constituents over an anti-LGBTQ+ hiring coverage has culminated in a lawsuit filed by college students, staff and alumni towards six members of the Board of Trustees, arguing that management has failed in its fiduciary duties and people at fault have to be eliminated.

The coverage, which bars the hiring of overtly homosexual college and employees members, has been a supply of competition on campus since a minimum of early 2021. Whereas college students, staff and alumni have aligned in robust opposition to the anti-LGBTQ+ hiring coverage, the administration and Board of Trustees have upheld the coverage in a number of votes.

Now the lawsuit claims that management on the tuition-dependent personal college has failed in its fiduciary obligation by clinging to insurance policies that drive potential college students away from campus.

The lawsuit, introduced Monday, is the results of a crowdfunded effort to take authorized motion that emerged in Might after the latest board vote to uphold the anti-LGBTQ+ hiring coverage. That vote—which was rife with allegations that trustees leaked confidential details about coverage deliberations to management of the Free Methodist Church, which SPU is affiliated with—led to campus walkouts and demonstrations, board members who resigned in protest, and a pupil sit-in that lasted 39 days.

The lawsuit notes that this authorized dispute isn’t about faith however moderately funds.

“Defendants, trustees of an ecumenical and inclusive academic establishment, have to be held accountable for putting their private spiritual beliefs above their fiduciary duties to SPU and its folks,” the lawsuit reads. “Quite than defending this neighborhood, Defendants inflicted trauma on their fellow trustees and the complete campus. Defendants selected this path as a way to defend a discriminatory hiring coverage that undermined, and has torn aside, the center and soul of SPU.”

The lawsuit is introduced by a gaggle of 16 plaintiffs, which authorized counsel says represents a broad cross-section of Seattle Pacific college students, college, employees and alumni.

“At its core, this lawsuit is a few group of rogue trustees who refuse to take away a discriminatory, anti-LGBTQ+ hiring coverage despite the fact that removing of the coverage is clearly in the perfect pursuits of SPU’s staff, college students and the campus neighborhood,” Paul Southwick, one of many attorneys representing the plaintiffs, stated by e mail. “Defendants breached their fiduciary duties to SPU and its folks as a result of they put their allegiance to a non secular denomination above their loyalty to SPU.”

Southwick provides that the plaintiffs hope the lawsuit results in “the removing of the rogue board members from their positions as trustees and the removing of the discriminatory hiring coverage.”

A spokesperson stated SPU “is conscious of the lawsuit and can reply in the end.”