Biology professor fired for teaching chromosomes determine sex reinstated

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Biology professor fired for teaching chromosomes determine sex reinsta…

IdealAdventure 0 354 02.23 17:05

Biology professor fired for teaching chromosomes determine sex reinstated 

By Ryan Foley, Christian Post Reporter Friday, February 23, 2024 

A Texas college has reinstated a professor who was reportedly terminated for teaching about the traditional, biological definition of gender. 

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

The law firm filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the San Antonio, Texas-based historically black community college fired Varkey because the biology professor told his students that sex 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 banter."

Students walked out of his class in objection to his comments asserting that sex is determined by biology and not an individual's feelings. A complaint was filed against him shortly thereafter, which led to his dismissal. 

In the EEOC complaint filed last summer, Varkey insisted that he "never mentioned" his religious beliefs in the classroom. While stressing that his Christian faith leads him to "believe that God has 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 maintained that "I did not preach any of my beliefs in class."

"The allegation that I conducted 'religious preaching' is unsubstantiated," he added. "The College assumed I was preaching rather than teaching due to 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 with their biological sex. His comments about sterilization reflect the fact that LGBT advocates speak 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 enable Varkey to return to the classroom by the fall semester of the 2024-2025 academic year.  

"We are happy that the Alamo Community College District voluntarily reinstated Dr. Varkey," First Liberty 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 U.S. Constitution as well as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act. 

Several Republican members of Congress from Texas wrote a letter calling on St. Philip's College to reverse the biology professor's termination. 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 at St. Philip's College to face adverse action for reportedly making a statement that amounts to a rejection of LGBT ideology.

The document contained a link to 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 LGBTQIA+ community is riddled with pedophilia, the 'p' in the LGBTQIA+ community stands for pedophilia and gay pride activists organize parades' with 12-year-olds jerking off in them'" led to his termination. While Moravits and other students in the class disputed this version of events, the college fired the professor anyway. Last September, Moravits received a $185,000 settlement from St. Philip's College. He now teaches at Texas State University.