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Seattle Pacific Trustees Sued Over Anti-LGBTQ+ Hiring Coverage


An extended-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, workers and alumni towards six members of the Board of Trustees, arguing that management has failed in its fiduciary duties and people at fault should be eliminated.

The coverage, which bars the hiring of brazenly homosexual school and employees members, has been a supply of rivalry on campus since no less than early 2021. Whereas college students, workers 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 responsibility 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 Could after the most up-to-date 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 scholar sit-in that lasted 39 days.

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

“Defendants, trustees of an ecumenical and inclusive instructional establishment, should be held accountable for putting their private spiritual beliefs above their fiduciary duties to SPU and its folks,” the lawsuit reads. “Fairly than defending this group, Defendants inflicted trauma on their fellow trustees and your complete campus. Defendants selected this path in an effort to defend a discriminatory hiring coverage that undermined, and has torn aside, the guts and soul of SPU.”

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

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

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

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



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