Professor Disciplined for Punishing Christian Student Who Refused to Lobby for Homosexual Adoption

Tue Nov 14, 2006 - 12:15 pm EST

By John-Henry Westen

SPRINGFIELD, MO, November 14, 2006 ( - Emily Brooker, a student in the Missouri State University’s School of Social Work, sued the university after being punished by a professor for refusing to lobby in favour of homosexual adoption. Only weeks after launching the suit, the university has settled out of court and disciplined the professor in question.

Professor Frank Kauffman had assigned Brooker, and her classmates, to write a letter to the Missouri Legislature expressing support for homosexual adoption. She refused to do so because of her religious objections and was charged with a “Level 3 Grievance,” the most serious charge possible, and faced the possibility of having her degree withheld.

In addition, Brooker faced a 2 1/2 hour interrogation from an “ethics” committee, which asked her personally invasive questions such as “Do you think gays and lesbians are sinners?” and “Do you think I am a sinner?” (see coverage: )

A little over two weeks ago, Brooker launched a lawsuit with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund, a legal firm which defends religious freedom.Â

When contacted the University two weeks ago, the University’s legal council said they had just learned of the suit and were commencing an investigation. Following our coverage, readers wrote the University expressing their concerns.Â

After an investigation, the university has purged the grievance from Brooker’s academic record and has forced Kauffman to resign from his administrative duties. He was also put on non-teaching leave for the rest of the semester.

“Being a Christian shouldn’t make you a second-class citizen on a college campus,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel and CAF Director David French.“Instead of being a marketplace of ideas, some professors try to silence or even punish students whose beliefs do not conform to their personal worldview. To its credit, the university launched an investigation immediately after Emily’s case was filed and has taken appropriate action against the professor and appropriate action to repair Emily’s reputation and record. I only wish other administrations would respond as quickly to violations of students’ rights.”

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