University of Toledo Official Fired for Anti-gay Writings
by Daniel Luzer
A vice president of human resources fired from the University of Toledo after writing what many saw as anti-gay views in a local newspaper has lost a lawsuit arguing that her free speech rights were violated by the termination. According to an article by Leigh Jones in the National Law Journal:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit on December 17 affirmed a lower court ruling that threw out Crystal Dixon’s lawsuit against the University of Toledo.
The appeals panel ruled that because her editorial went against the very civil rights policies that she was responsible for creating, promoting and enforcing at the public university, her claims of unlawful retaliation for exercising her constitutional rights failed.
“Dixon’s public statement implying that LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] individuals should not be compared with and afforded the same protections as African Americans directly contradicts several such substantive policies instituted by the University,” wrote Judge Karen Moore, for the three-judge panel.
Apparently in 2008 Crystal Dixon wrote in an editorial in the Toledo Free Press:
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.
She did not identify herself as an employee of University of Toledo. The article to which she was reacting in her editorial, however, spoke of gay rights as a new civil rights issue, and pointed to differences in benefits provided to gay and straight couples employed by the university.
Dixon argued that she wrote her editorial as a private citizen, not as an employee of the university.
The problem came when officials at the university that employed her discovered the editorial. Part of her role in the school’s human resources department had to do with hiring gay employees and administering benefits packages.
The real trouble may not have been the whole “gay is a choice” thing she mentioned above, controversial as that opinion was. In the same editorial, however, Dixon “expressed her religious beliefs that there are consequences to those who violate God’s divine order.”
Perhaps there are divine consequences, but it’s probably best to leave that judgment to God, and out of the hands of the human resources department at an Ohio public university.