The city of Minneapolis has agreed to settle a lawsuit with a fired psychologist two weeks before the trial was set to begin. A few years ago, protesters called for Michael Campion's resignation after his affiliation with the anti-gay group Illinois Family Institute was made public. Campion was let go but reinstated soon after. He is now walking away with $210,000.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports:
"Council Member Gary Schiff, who is gay, said, 'It was clear the settlement was in the city's best interest.'"
"The Family Institute has stated that it opposes the 'gay lifestyle.'"
"If the city had lost at trial, it could have been made to pay Campion's attorney's fees. Schiff said the settlement amount includes legal fees."
"In reaching the decision, Schiff said, the council leaned heavily on an 18-page pretrial ruling from Ericksen, in which she wrote, 'The court observes, at this preliminary state, that plaintiffs' First Amendment interests appear to be strong.'"
"Jim Campbell, of the Alliance Defense Fund of Arizona, said the settlement 'reinforces that the government cannot penalize Christian contractors for their beliefs. The court had already issued a decision finding that the City of Minneapolis removed Dr. Campion because of his constitutionally protected involvement with a Christian organization, noting that Dr. Campion's constitutional rights were strong.'"