"Jacqueline Gill’s(pictured on the left) qualifications match or exceed those of the other temporary instructors hired by Tarrant County College that summer. They were permitted to interview for those positions when they were made permanent, but Gill was not," said Kenneth Upton (pictured on the right), Supervising Senior Staff Attorney in Lambda Legal.
"Public employers who interfere with the hiring process based on the perception that a candidate is lesbian violate the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee."
He added that "Employees have a right to be judged based on their job performance rather than any personal characteristic. And while we need Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) to protect all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people from facing discrimination in private employment settings, public employers, like Tarrant County College, are already barred from discriminatory hiring and employment practices under the federal Constitution."
Gill had already worked for the college as instructor and had then learned that most instructors start on a temporary basis before obtaining a full-time position.
However, Gill was then subjected to a lengthy diatribe about "homosexuals" and about how "Texas and Tarrant County College do not like homosexuals" by English Department Chair Eric Devlin after a former student who had been disciplined for academic dishonesty by Gill retaliated by falsely claiming that Gill flirted with girls during class, a claim Gill denied as reports LambdaLegal.
Then, in June 2010, having received praise from colleagues, superiors, parents, she postulated for a full-time work but she was not retained for the interview.
In its complaint, Lambda Legal pleads that "Devlin and Antonio Howell, Division Dean of Humanities, Tarrant County College NE Campus, violated the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution by refusing to permit Gill to interview for a permanent teaching position and by interfering with the hiring process regarding Gill’s application based on their perception that she is a lesbian."
"I’m a good teacher and I work hard. But none of that mattered once Eric Devlin suspected that I’m a lesbian," said Jacqueline Gill.
"While I have never hidden my sexual orientation, neither have I ever told anyone on campus that I am gay. My partner and I have been together for over 12 years and we’re both Texas natives. Finding a job these days is hard enough—no one should have to go through something like this."