Texas College Fires Biology Professor for Teaching Students That Sex is Determined by Chromosomes

St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas, has reportedly fired a biology professor for teaching students that chromosomes determine sex.

In November, four students walked out of Dr. Johnson Varkey’s lecture over the standard teaching about X and Y chromosomes, according to First Liberty Institute, a law firm representing the professor.

The law firm has now sent a letter to St. Philips College asking them to “immediately reinstate Dr. Varkey to his position and clear his record of any wrongdoing.”

“In his role as an adjunct professor, Dr. Varkey taught Human Anatomy and Physiology to more than 1,500 students since 2003,” First Liberty wrote in a press release. “During Dr. Varkey’s 20-year employment as a biology professor at St. Philip’s College, he consistently received exemplary performance reviews and was never subject to discipline. Throughout that time, he never discussed with any student his personal views—religious or otherwise—on human gender or sexuality.”

Two months after the walk out, in January, Dr. Varkey received a Notice of Discipline and Termination of Employment and Contract letter stating that the school “received numerous complaints” about his “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter” and that his teaching “pushed beyond the bounds of academic freedom with [his] personal opinions that were offensive to many individuals in the classroom,” according to First Liberty.

“In other words, he was fired for teaching true and widely accepted concepts,” the law firm said. “The statements he made are supported by research and consistent with his professional experience and education.”

Beyond being purely scientific, Dr. Varkey’s statements also reflect his devout Christian religious beliefs. He serves as an associate pastor at his San Antonio church and hosts a Bible-study radio ministry.

According to First Liberty, Dr. Varkey’s termination “violates several laws that protect Americans from being punished for holding or expressing their religious beliefs.”

“When decisionmakers at St. Philip’s College terminated Dr. Varkey because of his religious beliefs and classroom statements about biology, they violated several federal and state laws, including the First Amendment of the United States Constitution, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,” the law firm said.

The press release added that, “From the boardroom to the break room, this hostile corporate culture and anti-religious bias are a serious threat to religious freedom. This reduces good people to second-class status, which is outrageous, wrong and makes a mockery of laws that protect religious Americans from discrimination.”

 

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