A Christian psychologist filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Minneapolis for firing him over his membership with a pro-family organization.
Dr. Michael Campion, a licensed clinical psychologist who taught at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois for 18 years, had his contract with the city of Minneapolis rescinded after officials found out about his ties with the politically conservative organization Illinois Family Institute.
Prior to contract annulment, an author with the Illinois Times had criticized Campion for his affiliation with the pro-family group in an article published in May 2005.
"Pro-family, Christian conservatives cannot be treated as second-class citizens," argued Alliance Defense Fund senior legal counsel Brian Raum in Campion's defense.
ADF attorneys are filing the lawsuit in federal court on behalf of the Illinois psychologist.
"Government officials do not have the right to end someone's contract on the basis of religion or political viewpoint," stated the ADF legal counsel. "The city of Minneapolis is engaging in viewpoint discrimination, and that is clearly unconstitutional."
Campion, whose expertise the U.S. Department of Justice sought for three of its research projects, was hired by the city of Minneapolis as an independent contractor in early 2005. He is said to have "enjoyed a successful professional relationship" with the city, providing them with pre-employment testing, fitness for duty testing, and other services before the incident.
Following the Illinois Times article, however, the city "suspended" Campion and hired an independent psychological testing company to evaluate him and see if his process for reviewing applicants for employment with the city was flawed or biased.
In July 2006, the testing company submitted its findings to the city and concluded that there was no evidence of bias and found Campion's processes to be consistent with or beyond expectations for good psychological and statistical practice. The testing company added that Campion is "clearly an expert in this line of work."
Despite the positive report in favor of Campion, the city decided to rescind its agreement with the Christian psychologist to conduct 62 pre-hire screening tests in October. Instead, the city hired a consulting company that was significantly more expensive and less qualified to conduct such tests, according to ADF.
"City officials in Minneapolis should base their contract decisions on experiences and qualifications," said Raum. "Dr. Campion is a highly qualified, experienced professional, and the city was absolutely wrong to fire him."
For over a decade, the Alliance Defense Fund has sought to defend and advocate for religious freedom, the sanctity of human life, and traditional family values through strategy, training, funding, and litigation. The legal alliance was formed by the leaders of 35 ministries who came together in 1994.