Washington AG sued by Christian University over LGBT Probe

The Attorney General of Washington state is being sued by Seattle Pacific University (SPU), a Christian university in the United States of America after the AG probed the hiring practices of the school.

SPU had filed a lawsuit on July 27, 2022 against the state AG, Bob Ferguson, who is probing the university's policies over (not) hiring LGBT applicants due to their stand.

According to the school, the AG’s act is a violation of the religious freedom of the institution.

The 22-page complaint was filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma, SPU. It stated that Ferguson "is wielding state power to interfere with the religious beliefs of a religious university, and a church, whose beliefs he disagrees with." 

It added, "He (Ferguson) is using the powers of his office (and even powers not granted to his office) to pressure and retaliate against Seattle Pacific University."

The school revealed that Ferguson’s request mandated them to release “information on internal religious matters and decisions, detailed review of religious hiring practices, communications with ministerial employees, and even the selection of the University's president, senior leadership, and board of trustees."

Ferguson had sent a letter on June 8 to SPU asking the institution to "produce any policies governing the hiring, promotion, discipline, and/or termination of University faculty, staff, and administrators, as it relates to their sexual orientation or status of being in a same-sex marriage and/or intimate relationship."

He continued, "The attorney general's probe inquires into confidential religious matters and is beyond the scope of authority granted under state law and the federal constitution."

Ferguson admitted he had requested an investigation into the school. He said, "We did not publicize the letter, nor did we announce our investigation. In response to our inquiry, Seattle Pacific University filed a federal lawsuit.

"The lawsuit demonstrates that the University believes it is above the law to such an extraordinary degree that it is shielded from answering basic questions from my office regarding the University's compliance with state law."

Also, he said that he decided to investigate the institution after several SPU students, faculty and others complained to him that the administrative policies of the University impinges on Washington’s civil rights.

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