Astronomer claims he lost UK job because of faith

December 11, 2010 

(AP) — An astronomer is suing the University of Kentucky, claiming he was denied a job running its observatory because of his Christian faith.

Martin Gaskell was once considered the leading candidate to be the founding director of the observatory, opened in 2008.

The Courier-Journal reports that a trial has been set for Feb. 8 after a federal judge ruled Gaskell has the right to a jury trial.

Gaskell argues that the school discriminated against him because he had given lectures in the past discussing astronomy and the Bible and his questions about the theory of evolution, even though he accepts it.

The university acknowledges there were questions about his beliefs, but there was valid scientific concern. It also claims there were other factors in denying him the job, including a poor performance review in a previous job.

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