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Seattle Pacific Sues Washington AG


Students, employees and alumni have been protesting SPU’s hiring policies since May. (Chloe Guillot)

Facing a state investigation for discriminatory hiring practices against LGBTQ+ individuals, Seattle Pacific University is going on the offensive, suing Washington attorney general Robert Ferguson.

The lawsuit , filed Wednesday, accuses Ferguson of violating the Free Methodist Church–affiliated university’s constitutional right “to decide matters of faith and doctrine, to hire employees who share its religious beliefs, and to select and retain ministers free from government interference.”

At the root of the lawsuit is a policy that has long been a source of friction at Seattle Pacific: a prohibition on the hiring of openly gay faculty and staff members, which the president and Board of Trustees have vigorously defended despite opposition from students, employees and alumni. Students have walked out and sat in to protest the policy; the board refuses to budge out of concerns that doing so would end its 130-year membership in the Free Methodist Church. Most Popular

The Lawsuit

Seattle Pacific filed suit amid an investigation by Ferguson that has asked the university to produce details on its policies regarding the hiring, promotion, discipline and termination of SPU employees related to their sexual orientation; to […]

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