Administrator fired for criticizing gay rights alleges First Amendment violation

.- An administrator at the University of Toledo who was fired for writing an editorial objecting to the comparison of homosexual rights to the civil rights struggles of African Americans and expressing her Christian views against homosexuality has accused the university of violating her First Amendment rights when it terminated her employment earlier this month.

Crystal Dixon, former associate vice president of human resources at the state-run University of Toledo, argued in an April 18 column in the Toledo Free Press that those “choosing the homosexual lifestyle” should not be considered “civil rights victims.”  Dixon, who did not identify herself in the column as a university administrator, said that while she cannot change her identity as a black woman, “thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle.”

She also quoted two passages from the Bible, one concerning the nature of marriage and another saying that one should hate the sin but love the sinner.

Following a decision by the university to fire her for her views, Dixon spoke to a group of about 60 people at her church, the End Time Christian Fellowship, saying the issue is not the correctness of her beliefs but whether she is free to express them. 

“This is a matter of principle, plain and simple,” she said.
Thomas A. Sobecki, Dixon’s attorney, said she was fired from her job “because she exercised her right to free speech… She spoke about something certain people at the university disagreed with.”
“She doesn't want to sue; she'd rather be working right now,” he said.

Dixon has also retained for her defense the Thomas More Law Center, an Ann Abor-based organization which says it is “dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians.”

“Essentially she was fired for being a Christian,” argued Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

“Crystal Dixon is a courageous Christian woman whom we are privileged to represent,” Thompson continued.  “The University of Toledo brags about being friendly to ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning individuals.’  They apparently are also proud of their hostility toward Christians.”

“Where is the so-called free expression of ideas that universities so adamantly defend in other contexts?” he said.

Crystal Dixon has launched a web site at www.crystaldixon.com, “Crystal Dixon: Faith and Free Speech Defender,” to explain her story and to ask for donations.

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