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DETROIT � The University of Michigan Law School is tangled in a costly legal dispute with a professor who is suing the school, alleging he was denied tenure because he was gay. For the third time in nearly three years, the law school, which reportedly has already spent more than $200,000 defending the suit, is preparing to ask a judge next month to toss out the case. Attorneys for the law school had planned on seeking the dismissal at a hearing this week, but the judge postponed the hearing until Jan. 25. The case involves health law professor Peter Hammer, who sued the law school in 2005 after a board of tenured faculty voted 18-12 to grant him tenure, two votes shy of the requirement. He alleges some of those who voted against him had anti-gay biases, and is now asking a judge to invalidate those votes. “There are clear problems that there’s discrimination, whether it’s about gays or about women, and they are in complete denial,” Hammer said. “And all of the internal processes (at the law school) are stacked so you cannot even raise the issue.” Hammer, who is now a tenured law professor at Wayne State University School of Law in Detroit, is seeking reinstatement and back pay. Officials at the law school declined comment on pending litigation. In court documents, the law school has argued that the University of Michigan’s by-laws and policies prohibiting discrimination are not binding on the university and create no legal rights. Lawyers for the University of Michigan were unavailable for comment. The case is Hammer v. Board of Regents of the University of Michigan, No. 04-241-MK (Michigan Court of Claims).

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