Justice sues Oklahoma university for discrimination against transgender professor.

DOJ Sues University in Oklahoma for Discrimination Against Transgender Professor

DOJ Sues University in Oklahoma for Discrimination Against Transgender Professor

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March 30 2015 8:35 PM

Justice Department Sues University in Oklahoma for Discrimination Against Transgender Professor

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A college classroom in Rome.

Photo by TIZIANA FABI/AFP/Getty Images

The Justice Department filed suit on Monday against an Oklahoma university alleging the school discriminated against a transgender professor. “Rachel Tudor was hired as a tenure-track assistant professor in the English department at Southeastern Oklahoma State University in 2004, after applying as a man with a traditionally male name, according to the lawsuit filed Monday,” the Washington Post reports. “Then in 2007, Tudor told school officials that he would become a woman during that academic year, took the name Rachel, and began wearing women’s clothes and a traditionally female hairstyle.”

“The complaint said Tudor taught in the English department and was terminated from the university in 2011 after the school denied her tenure,” Reuters reports. “A lawyer for Tudor said it was the first time the university had denied an English professor's application for tenure and promotion after a favorable tenure recommendation from a promotion committee and the department chair.” The DOJ suit alleges that someone in the university’s human resources department told Tudor that the school’s vice president for academic affairs had inquired about whether Tudor could be fired because her gender transition offended his religious beliefs.

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Southeastern Oklahoma State University said in a statement: “The University is confident in its legal position and its adherence to all applicable employment laws."