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Biology Professor Says He Was Fired for Teaching Sex Is Determined by Chromosomes

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

A biology professor at St. Philip’s College in San Antonio, Texas claimed that he was fired after he taught a lesson explaining that sex is determined by X and Y chromosomes.


The professor, Johnson Varkey, claimed that he was let go from the college for “religious preaching” in his class. Over the course of 20 years, Varkey taught human anatomy and physiology to more than 1,500 students, according to the New York Post

During a lesson on the human reproductive system on Nov. 28, 2022, Varkey made remarks about how X and Y chromosomes determine a person’s sex. Four students reportedly walked out of his class as a result of these remarks.

In January, Varkey received a Notice of Discipline and Termination of Employment and Contract letter stating that the school “received numerous complaints” about his alleged “religious preaching, discriminatory comments about homosexuals and transgender individuals, anti-abortion rhetoric, and misogynistic banter,” the institute added, noting that Varkey has “a sincerely held belief that God created humankind male and female.” 


“In two decades of teaching these basic, unremarkable concepts, no other students complained,” the First Liberty Institute, a conservative law firm, said in a press release.

First Liberty Institute noted that Varkey’s firing violates the First Amendment in the U.S. Constitution, the Texas Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

“What St. Philip’s College did is wrong—and Dr. Varkey should get his job back. Public universities have no business firing professors for teaching actual science,” the press release explained. “It’s harmful to academic freedom. It’s also harmful to religious liberty, as the college is sending a message that people of faith are not welcome and need not apply.” 


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