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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014

Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeal of Woman Fired by University for Criticizing Gay Rights Movement

  • (Photo: Daniel Miller/University of Toledo)
    The campus of the University of Toledo.
October 10, 2013|2:30 pm

The United States Supreme Court has decided to not hear an appeal from an African-American woman who was fired from an Ohio academic institute for penning a column that was perceived as being anti-gay.

Working during the government shutdown, earlier this week the Court rejected the appeal of Crystal Dixon, former employee at the University of Toledo.

Jonathan Strunk, senior director of university communications for Toledo, provided The Christian Post with a statement from the university's President Lloyd Jacobs.

"The University of Toledo is pleased with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision, which upholds the decisions made at each level of the federal judicial system to grant summary judgment in favor of the University following a lawsuit filed by former employee Crystal Dixon," said Jacobs.

"The University stands by our strategic plan that calls for us all to work to create an environment that values and fosters diversity, earns the trust and commitment of colleagues, and provides a collaborative and supportive work environment that adheres to the highest ethical standard."

In April 2008, Dixon wrote a column for the Toledo Free Press rebutting an earlier work comparing the 1960s civil rights movement to the gay rights movement.

"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,'" wrote Dixon.

"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."

At the time, Dixon was serving as interim associate vice president for human resources at Toledo. She was fired after a hearing by university officials over her opinion piece.

Jacobs wrote a response to Dixon's column, stating that her statements "do not accord with the values of the University of Toledo."

"The University of Toledo welcomes, supports and places value upon persons of every variety. Disability, race, age or sexual orientation are not included in any decision making process nor the evaluation of worth of any individual at this university," wrote Jacobs.

Dixon filed a suit against the university over the firing. She was represented by the American Freedom Law Center.

In December 2012, a three-judge panel of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Dixon, arguing that the university had a right to fire Dixon since her views were in conflict with the academic institution's mission statement.

The AFLC filed an appeal with the en banc of the Sixth Circuit. However, in late February this request was denied. In late May they sent an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Robert Muise, AFLC co-founder and senior counsel who authored the petition on behalf of Dixon, said in a statement that this suit was about freedom of religious dissent.

"If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion," said Muise.

The American Freedom Law Center did not return comment to The Christian Post by press time.

Source URL : http://www.christianpost.com/news/supreme-court-wont-hear-appeal-of-woman-fired-by-university-for-criticizing-gay-rights-movement-106378/