Former Instructor Files Discrimination Complaint

Post a Comment » Written on December 5th, 2003     
Filed under: News
CHICAGO, IL (December 5) – A former North Park University teacher has  filed an employment discrimination complaint alleging she was denied a  full-time tenure-track teaching position at the university because of  her sexual orientation.

Barbara Kelly, who filed the complaint Wednesday with the Chicago  Commission on Human Relations, claims she was denied a position in the  human development division because she is a lesbian.

Kelly, 52 and an Episcopalian, taught an introductory psychology class  part-time until this summer when she applied for a full-time position.  Her complaint alleges she was later told she would not be a candidate  for the position because of her sexual orientation.

During a press conference at the school Wednesday, President David  Horner said the matter involves adherence to university policy, not  discrimination based on sexual orientation. Quoting from the  university’s policy, Horner said “full-time faculty are expected to be  committed Christians in faith and action, as traditionally understood by  the Evangelical Covenant Church.”

He then cited a Resolution on Human Sexuality approved by delegates to  the 1996 Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Covenant Church, which states  in part, “Heterosexual marriage, faithfulness within marriage,  abstinence outside of marriage – these constitute the Christian  standard.” He then added, “Church statements such as this inform our  university’s decisions related to personnel and other matters.”

The Chicago Human Rights Ordinance, under which the complaint was filed,  prohibits discrimination in employment based, among other things, on  sexual orientation, which is later defined as “the actual or perceived  state of heterosexuality, homosexuality or bisexuality.”

However, the ordinance provides an exception to the standards for  certain religious organizations. “Nothing in this chapter shall apply to  decisions of a religious society, association, organization or  institution affecting the definition, promulgating or advancement of the  mission, practices or beliefs of the society, association, organization  or institution.”

The complaint was filed with the city commission because state and  federal laws do not cover claims of discrimination based on sexual  orientation. The commission has the authority to award damages and order  payment of attorney’s fees following an investigation, which one  observer stated could take as long as two years.

To read the complete text of the university’s statement presented during  the press conference, visit Press Statement

Copyright © 2011 The Evangelical Covenant Church.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Report This Post

Leave a Reply

Report This Blog