A Catholic university in California has reportedly suspended an employee for allegedly telling a trio of students, one of whom identifies as gender-neutral, that only two genders, male and female, exist.
Last month, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles suspended the unnamed employee of 15 years who works in the alumni relations department.
The employee's husband subsequently emailed a Catholic publication in April about the suspension and denounced the LMU student newspaper's coverage of the incident.
"My wife was informed this morning that she is suspended from her job of 15 years pending an investigation of this 'incident,'" wrote the husband in an email posted online by the California Catholic Daily.
"No one got her side of the story. In addition there was an alumni witness who verified her accounts of the conversation."
The email published by the CCD also said that despite claims by some, the conversation between his wife and the students was a healthy debate that ended civilly.
"It was a loving expression of disagreement, and a legitimate exchange of ideas and reasons, with my wife defending the truths of the Church, and listening with love to these girls' ideas," continued the email.
"At the end everyone shook hands and my wife invited them into the alumni office anytime they wanted to talk more. The girls expressed out loud how much they enjoyed the opportunity to 'dialogue' on these subjects with my wife."
Last month three LMU students were reportedly posting signs for an LGBT event called "Rainbow Week," which is also known as "LGBTQ+ Awareness Week," when they noticed that some of the signs for the campus event were removed and placed behind a trash can. As they posted new signs they were approached by the employee.
The removal of the signs and the verbal interactions were later filed as a complaint to LMU's Bias Incident Response Team, which was investigating the matter alongside the Los Angeles Police Department.
"The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) met and released a statement on April 15, notifying the LMU community that BIRT, along with Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department, is looking into the events of April 14 as reported by the three students," reported the student newspaper The Loyolan.
"BIRT also clarified that the investigation will continue as two separate incidents, the first being the removal of the LGBT signs and the second being the employee and students' confrontation."
The campus incident and apparent suspension of the employee might lead to legal action, according to Matt Lamb of The College Fix in an entry published last week.
"A Facebook user claiming to be the LMU alumnus who was with the employee, Anthony 'AJ' Gonzales, wrote a long post about the altercation, clarifying that he was on the phone with the employee," the College Fix reported.
"Gonzales said the employee was 'in the process of seeking legal counsel' to defend herself and hold LMU accountable for how she was 'unfairly treated and summarily dismissed' before she could give her side."