Astronomer’s Religious Discrimination Case

From the website of the American Center for Law & Justice:

ACLJ Pleased with Settlement of Christian Astronomer's Religious Discrimination Case against University of Kentucky

January 18, 2011

(Washington, DC) — The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) announced today the settlement of the religious discrimination case of C. Martin Gaskell v. University of Kentucky. The ACLJ represented Professor Martin Gaskell, an internationally-respected astronomer, who was turned down for the post of Observatory Director at the University of Kentucky in 2007 after concerns were voiced about some of his writings contained in a personal website discussing the compatibility of modern astronomy and the Christian religion. Under the terms of the settlement, the University has agreed to pay Gaskell the sum of $125,000.

“In bringing this case and successfully resolving it we believe we have shed some much-needed light on a problem that is by no means limited to the University of Kentucky,” said Francis J. Manion, ACLJ Senior Trial Counsel. “The reaction of some of those involved in this hiring process to a scientist who dared to be open about his Christian faith is, unfortunately, fairly typical of academia generally. It is simply untenable to think that an avowed Christian, evangelical or otherwise, or any other scientist of religious faith, is somehow incapable or less capable of performing his or her job in science education, research, or outreach. Such a standard would eliminate from consideration some of the most celebrated names in the history of science, from Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, Pascal, Pasteur, among many others, to contemporary scientists like Francis Collins, the head of the Human Genome Project and President Obama’s choice to run the National Institutes for Health (NIH).”

Gaskell’s lawsuit, originally filed in 2009, alleged that the University violated Title VII, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits employers from using an applicant’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin in making hiring decisions.

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