Buffalo College Professor Claims Discrimination Because He's Straight

Dr. Csaba Marosan claims he was harassed, fired for being straight.

ByABC News
August 3, 2010, 1:36 PM

Aug. 4, 2010— -- A New York college professor who claims that he was discrminated against for being a heterosexual man and then fired for complaining has caught the interest of the state's Human Rights Division.

Dr. Csaba Marosan told ABC News that he endured years of being ostracized by administrators at Trocaire College, a Catholic, two-year school in Buffalo, for not being part of their clique made up largely of younger, gay men dubbed the "Merry Men."

The complaint filed by Marosan, a native of Hungary, also alleges discrimination based on his accent and his gender. His allegations were investigated by New York Human Rights Division, which has found probable cause that Trocaire College not only discrminated against Marosan, but fired him in retaliation for lodging the initial complaint.

"I want some changes in the school," Marosan said. "I mean, this cannot go on."

Marosan, who holds a medical degree in Hungary but is unlicensed to pratice in the U.S., worked at Trocaire, first as an adjunct professor then as a full-time faculty member in the school's natural sciences department.

In his first complaint, filed with the Human Rights Division in April 2009, Marosan claims that the Rev. Robert Mock, dean of academic affairs for non-nursing studies, and Vice President Thomas Mitchell treated him less favorably than his female colleagues. Mock, according to the complaint, would poke fun at his customs, his clothing and his accent.

In April 2010 Marosan amended his complaint to include allegations of discrimination based on his sexual orientation. The amendment came after Marosan was fired in February in what he says was retaliation for the first Human Rights complaint.

In the amendment, Marosan claims Mock and Mitchell "are known or believed to be gay or bi-sexual."

"Mr. Mitchell and Father Mock have given preferential treatment to young and/or gay males," the complaint alleges. "Father Mock formed a group called the 'Merry Men' where these young and/or gay males would socialize on and off campus, leading to preferential treatment."

Marosan pointed to the promotions of two of the members of the so-called "Merry Men" who had less experience and education than anyone else in the department.

He claims he watched other men he believes to be gay as well as less-educated women be promoted to positions above him even though his superiors knew he was interested in a higher level teaching job.

"I have dozens of witnesses to situations I've been through there," he said.

James Grasso, an attorney for Trocaire College, emphatically denied Marosan's claims. He also couldn't speak to Mock or Mitchell's sexual orientation, saying only "those are private matters."

"The college wants the case to be dismissed," he said.

The college, in its formal response to Marosan's amended complaint, says that he was never denied a promotion over anyone based on gender or sexual orientation and that Marosan never applied for the jobs he referenced that were filled by the other staff members.

Marosan, Grasso said, "never raised any of these issues … until the thought he was going to lose his job."