Friday, December 05, 2008



Free Speech or Hate Speech? University Sued Over Firing for Anti-Homosexual Article

We read:
"The firing of a college administrator over her criticism of gay rights has sparked a debate about free speech and whether universities have the right to regulate what employees say outside of their jobs. Crystal Dixon filed a lawsuit Monday in federal court seeking to be reinstated to her University of Toledo job, which she lost after writing in a newspaper column that gay rights can't be compared to civil rights because homosexuality is a choice.

"I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims,'" Dixon wrote in an online edition of the Toledo Free Press on April 18. "Here's why. I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman."

Two weeks later, Dixon was fired as the school's associate vice president for human resources. School officials said her views contradicted university policies, according to the lawsuit. Though Dixon's attorneys say other school administrators were not punished for expressing their opinions, the public university defends its actions.

"We have asserted from the beginning that Ms. Dixon was in a position of special sensitivity as associate vice president for human resources and this issue is not about freedom of speech, but about her ability to perform that job given her statements," university spokesman Larry Burns said in a statement. Dixon did not mention in the column that she worked at the university..

"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.

Source

What the university is saying seems to boil down to a claim that being critical of homosexuality is a sign of bad character. If you believe that the Bible is the word of God, I guess that makes God a bad character too.

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the University can't win either way. Dixon is sueing the University for being fired. However, if they kept her on as the AVP of HR, the next gay person that was turned down for a job at the University would probably sue the University, stating they did not get hired because they knew Dixon was bias against gays.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the University can't win...

This statement is a non-sequitar. The Director of HR does not make hiring or firing decisions for any department but his/her own. The most direct input he or she may have on the general hiring process is to review resume's for qualifications - so unless sexual orientation is on the resume', no such bias can possibly manifest itself.

The University must prove that a bias exists (which they may have a case on) and then prove that such a bias affects job performance (which I've heard no such claim.)

The University's position is untenable without proof that this woman's personal feelings adversely affect her job performance.

Anonymous said...

God is a good guy?

People killed by God = 2,391,421
People killed by Satan = 10

http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2006/08/who-has-killed-more-satan-or-god.html

Anonymous said...

Only certain speach is protected. That seems to be the university's argument?

Anonymous said...

"The Director of HR does not make hiring or firing decisions "

Not just that, but if things are anything like they're here you're not allowed to ask for things like sexual orientation of (prospective) employees, let alone require them to divulge such information.
Exceptions are made only for some very specific jobs where it could be a factor in the job performance of the person in question (for example, a homosexual marriage counselor would probably not be such a good idea).

Anonymous said...

You might have a point Stan, but it sure wouldn't stop the lawyers! I find it amusing how a group of socialist and Marxist college administrators have decided that our constitutional protections somehow stop at the campus gates. Of course, no such restrictions apply to those on the Left. Welcome to Amerika!

Anonymous said...

<foolishness>God is a good guy?

People killed by God = 2,391,421
People killed by Satan = 10

http://dwindlinginunbelief.blogspot.com/2006/08/who-has-killed-more-satan-or-god.html</foolishness>

<truth>
People killed by Satan: All
People rescued from Satan by God: All who want to be saved from that
</truth>

If you don't understand that, you don't understand anything about the bible.

Anonymous said...

The University's position is untenable without proof that this woman's personal feelings adversely affect her job performance.

I'm not so sure Stan.

The question is not only whether a bias from her is provable, but whether the perception of a bias would exist. (The dreaded "hostile work environment" comes to mind.)

As the HR Director, she was directly involved with the negotiations concerning benefits for gays when two campuses combined into one. Those negotiations were ongoing when she wrote her letter. Is it reasonable to think that she would not be an advocate for the best "deal" for gays when she has clearly stated she is against the lifestyle?

I believe that a reasonable person would think that it would be difficult for her to be in such a position without her feelings and beliefs coming into play.

How many of us would feel comfortable if Reverend Jeremiah Wright Jr (Obama's pastor) was suddenly placed in a position of authority over a group of white employees? Or how about a radical Black Panther? How about a KKK leader managing a group of blacks, or Jews?

Can the perception of bias ever be overcome in those cases?

I don't know. I truly do not.

Dixon's article seems to have compromised her ability to do the job for which she was hired - the administration of hiring policies within the law and within the guidelines and perceptions of the University.

Is that grounds for dismissal? I don't think so. It may be grounds for a lateral move within the Universty, but I don't think it rises to the level of termination.

Anonymous said...

Understanding the Bible - it states quite clearly in Numbers Chapter 31 (KJB) "And they warred against the Midianites, as the Lord commanded Moses; and they slew all the males." No doubt you will try to convince yourself that it isn't what it says - that the Lord/God ordered slaughter (which happens when you go to war)!

Another of many examples of God killing people including innocent children - Exodus Chapter 12 - "For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night, and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord."

Anonymous said...

And didn't God introduce death into the world as part of the punishment when He exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?
A Garden where he'd maliciously created an environment where they'd break His laws at some point.
Which shows He (deliberately else He'd not be all powerful and all knowing) designed Man to be flawed and prone to temptation, which shows He is not benign.

No, the God as portrayed in the Old Testament is not Mr Nice Guy.

Anonymous said...

Just a note to those arguing the "Goodness of God."

"Good" is defined by "God." It is impossible for God to do or say anything that is not "good."

To claim that God acted in an evil or malevolent way is to misunderstand the nature of God.

Man will be judged by God's standards. To place God in the dock is to turn the Universe on it's head (something most people are quite comfortable doing....)

Anonymous said...

"And didn't God introduce death into the world as part of the punishment when He exiled Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden?

A Garden where he'd maliciously created an environment where they'd break His laws at some point.

Which shows He (deliberately else He'd not be all powerful and all knowing) designed Man to be flawed and prone to temptation, which shows He is not benign.

No, the God as portrayed in the Old Testament is not Mr Nice Guy."


Sorry, but your fallacy is in assuming that God must follow human-defined logic.

Anonymous said...

"Is it reasonable to think that she would not be an advocate for the best "deal" for gays when she has clearly stated she is against the lifestyle?"

She didn't state she was againt the lifestyle, only that gay rights should not be compared to civil rights, and IMHO she is correct.

Anonymous said...

"human definied logic"?? - yours is the fallacy - didn't God determine humans' ability to use logic - or was He just making a fool of us while creating His little amusing creatures during the 6 days He had nothing better to do!

Anonymous said...

She didn't state she was againt the lifestyle, .....

After giving a large number of facts against the gay lifestyle, Ms. Dixon concludes her letter with:

My final and most important point. There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27). God created humans with an inalienable right to choose. There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God’s divine order. It is base human nature to revolt and become indignant when the world or even God Himself, disagrees with our choice that violates His divine order.

It is impossible to take that as anything other than a comdenmation of the gay lifestyle.

....only that gay rights should not be compared to civil rights, and IMHO she is correct.

As I stated, I think her point went deeper than that, but we are in agreement with Ms. Dixon that gay rights and civil rights are not comparable.

Anonymous said...

Fear not, as AIDS will save us.

Unknown said...

All of you quoting the bible and saying good refers to God etc. are using unsound arguments as there is no proof that God exists, therefore your arguments are not logical

Anonymous said...

"AIDS will save us" If you take satisfaction in ppl dying of such a disease (however they got it), then you're a wicked person and not living up to the injunctions of Jesus or even common decency!

Anonymous said...

"Sorry, but your fallacy is in assuming that God must follow human-defined logic."

Sorry, but the real fallacy is giving any weight to the human produced, socially constructed document that purports to be the musings of your invisible friend.

I can prove that many of the things mentioned in this story exist. Gays, blacks, HR departments, and leftist collages are all manifestly real. As such they have some standing in an argument. But until you can produce this God fellow you are going on about, he isn't an issue in this or any other argument. Espically one that will cost taxpayer dollars to fight once it gets to court.

When she wins this case the damages should come out of the pockets of the university administrators that canned her, not the dollars paid into the school by taxpayers.

Anonymous said...

Yes God is good - He created a huge range of nasty viruses and bacteria that have killed countless millions of people throughout history in a horrible way - adults and children alike - the just and the unjust alike without discrimination. Yes God is soooo good and loving!

Anonymous said...

God did not introduce death as a punishment, man chose something that God warned him not to do. Man chose to rebel against God and therefore got the result of his own choice. It is no different than your own father warning you not to jump off the roof of your house because you could break your leg. Would you blame your father if you did it and broke your leg? God is good and wants only good for us.

Anonymous said...

how is a child killed by smallpox (as countless have been) responsible for what any of their forebears may have done wrong?

Anonymous said...

If God is good and wants only good for us, then why did he create horrible diseases like smallpox that humans could not avoid until they worked out what diseases were and ways to combat them.

Kaelinda said...

"It is clear that thought is not free if the profession of certain opinions makes it impossible to earn a living." - Bertrand Russell, 1872-1970