Lawsuit says college disciplined professor over LGBT dispute

A mission statement is displayed near the entrance to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass.

A mission statement is displayed near the entrance to Gordon College in Wenham, Mass. Elise Amendola, AP

WENHAM, Massachusetts (AP) — A Christian college in Massachusetts is being sued over allegations that it disciplined a professor for opposing the school’s stance on hiring gay workers.

The state’s ACLU chapter filed a lawsuit on Thursday against Gordon College on behalf of professor Lauren Barthold, who wrote an open letter in 2014 saying that the school’s policies discriminated against the LGBT community.

The college’s president, D. Michael Lindsay, had previously signed a letter to President Barack Obama asking for a religious exemption to an executive order that banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal workforce.

Barthold says she was threatened with termination and removed from leadership positions after opposing Lindsay. The lawsuit accuses Gordon of violating state laws that protect against retaliation.

Gordon, which enrolls 2,000 students, did not immediately comment.

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