Main | Wednesday, December 03, 2008

University Official Canned For Anti-Gay Column Is Now Suing The School

Back in May, the University of Toledo's head of human resources, Crystal Dixon, was fired from her job after she penned an anti-gay column in the Toledo Free Press which read in part:
As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are "civil rights victims." Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a Black woman. I am genetically and biologically a Black woman and very pleased to be so as my Creator intended. Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few. Frequently, the individuals report that the impetus to their change of heart and lifestyle was a transformative experience with God; a realization that their choice of same-sex practices wreaked havoc in their psychological and physical lives.
Dixon is now suing the University of Toledo with the help of a Christianist law firm.
In response to the column, hundreds of people wrote letters calling her views disturbing while others were outraged Dixon was punished for speaking her mind. Conservative talk show hosts and members of her church rallied around Dixon after she was fired. "It comes down to whether you're speaking as an employee of the university or as a private citizen," said Brian Rooney, a spokesman for Thomas More Law Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., which is representing Dixon. "If you're speaking as a private citizen, your speech is protected."

The university would have been within its rights to discipline her if she had stated she was a school administrator, Rooney said. The nonprofit Christian law firm says its mission includes "defending the traditional family and challenging special rights for homosexuals."

"Where is the so-called free expression of ideas and tolerance that universities so adamantly defend?" said Richard Thompson, president of the law center. Named as defendants in the lawsuit are University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs and William Logie, vice president for human resources. Jacobs responded to the column by writing his own piece in the weekly newspaper, saying that "her comments do not accord with the values of the University of Toledo."
In her column, Dixon did not identify herself as an employee of the university, but she did reference the school's policies. Her story is being widely circulated on the Christianist blogosphere as a prime example of the coming suppression of the free speech of Christians.

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