Marquette Withdraws Job Offer To Lesbian Dean Candidate Jodi O'Brien

After offering Seattle University sociology professor Jodi O'Brien a dean position at the school, Marquette University has rescinded the offer -- and some are saying it's because O'Brien is gay.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nancy Pat Pfeil, a spokeswoman for the Jesuit college, said that the job offer cancellation was due in part to some of O'Brien's published work "relating to Catholic mission and identity."

In a statement from the school, Pfeil said that the college decided O'Brien was not an "acceptable candidate for permanent appointment."

Reached by email by the Sentinel, O'Brien said she was "stunned and disappointed."

Marquette professor Nancy E. Snow claims that O'Brien's appointment may have upset donors and the situation is "all about [O'Brien's] sexual orientation."

Marquette's president, the Rev. Robert A. Wild
, told the New York Times that the school changed its mind about O'Brien after university officials read her academic writings, which include a sociological study of vignettes on lesbian sex. "We found some strongly negative statements about marriage and family," Father Wild said.

About 100 students protested the decision yesterday, with some faculty and staff joining them by donning lavender flowers.