Biology professor fired for teaching chromosomes to determine sex reinstated

A Texas college has reinstated a professor who was reportedly fired for teaching the traditional, biological definition of sex.

In statement published on Tuesday, the law firm First Liberty Institute announced that the associate professor of St. Philip's College Johnson Varkey was reinstated after he was fired in January 2023 for rejecting aspects of LGBT ideology.

The law firm filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the historically black community college based in San Antonio, Texas fired Varkey because the biology professor told his students that gender is determined by an individual's chromosomes.

The professor was accused of “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric and misogynistic mockery.”

Students left his class against his comments affirming that sex is determined by biology and not the feelings of an individual. A complaint was filed against him soon after, which led to his dismissal.

In the EEOC complaint filed last summer, Varkey insisted he “never mentioned” his religious beliefs in the classroom. Pointing out that his Christian faith leads him “to believe that God ordained the sexual function for procreation, that children are a gift from God, and that absent a compelling reason, one should not sterilize oneself”, Varkey asserted that “I did not preach any of my beliefs in class.”

“The allegation that I did 'religious preaching' is unproven,” he added. “The College assumed that I preached rather than taught because of the negative, discriminatory stereotypes about Christians.”

Varkey's termination occurred at a time when LGBT activists insist that there are more than two genders and that an individual can belong to a gender that does not correspond to their biological sex. His comments on sterilization reflect the fact that LGBT activists are speaking out in favor of allowing trans-identified individuals, including minors, to undergo hormonal and surgical interventions that can include the removal of healthy body parts that align with one's biological sex.

The settlement reached Tuesday will allow Varkey to return to the classroom before the fall semester of the 2024-2025 academic year.

“We are pleased that the Alamo Community College District has voluntarily reinstated Dr. Varkey,” First Freedom Institute Associate Counsel Kayla Toney said in a statement. “He is excited by this outcome, and we are glad that ACCD did the right thing. Dr. Varkey looks forward to continuing to educate students at ACCD.”

In a letter to St. Philip's College last summer, First Liberty Institute complained to administrators that Varkey's termination violated the Free Exercise and Free Speech Clauses of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Religious Freedom Act. Restoration Act.

Several Republican members of Congress from Texas wrote a a letter invoking St. Philip's College to reverse the resignation of the biology professor. The letter, published in December, was signed by Sen. Ted Cruz and Reps. Chip Roy, Michael Cloud, Lance Gooden and Dan Crenshaw.

The letter indicated that Varkey was not the only professor in St. Philip's College to face adverse action for allegedly making a statement that amounts to a rejection of LGBT ideology.

The document contained a link to an an article published in The College Fix in July 2023 detailing the termination of Will Moravits, a political science professor at the school.

Allegations that Moravits told his students that “the GLBTQIA+ community is riddled with pedophilia, the 'p' in the GLBTQIA+ community stands for pedophilia and gay pride activists organize parades” with 12-year-olds joking in them” led to his termination. . While Moravits and other students in the class disputed that version of events, the college fired the professor anyway.Last September, Moravits received $185,000 settlement from St. Philip's College. He now teaches at Texas State University.


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