University of Toledo President Lloyd Jacobs, who fired Crystal Dixon for “contradicting” the university agenda
A team of lawyers from the Thomas More Law Center is working on a response to a decision by University of Toledo school chief Lloyd Jacobs to dismiss an administrator for her statements and beliefs about homosexuality.
The situation developed when now-former Associate Vice President of Human Resources Crystal Dixon wrote a letter to the local newspaper, the Toledo Free Press, regarding the newspaper editor’s complaint that homosexuals weren’t being treated equally.
She said she took “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.’”
Jacobs immediately suspended Dixon and condemned her opinion statements.
Then within days the school had convened a “pre-disciplinary” meeting on her beliefs, when she was, according to her dismissal letter signed by Jacobs, “provided an opportunity to respond to concerns relating to your ability to carry out the functions, responsibilities and duties…”
“After reviewing the relevant evidence … it is my determination that there is just cause to terminate your employment with the University of Toledo,” Jacobs wrote, condemning her opinions as “in direct contradiction” to his policies and procedures.
Now there’s a response to Jacobs’ opinions.
“We’re working on several different avenues,” Brian Rooney, an official with the Thomas More Law Center, told WND today. “First, her First Amendment rights have been violated obviously. Then there’s the equal protection clause. We know of instances of administrators similarly situated who have written opinion pieces saying great things about homosexuality. Nothing has happened to them.
“But because Crystal Dixon presents an opposite point of view, [she's punished],” he said.
Crystal Dixon, dismissed from the University of Toledo
Other issues that will be explored include her civil rights, because she “clearly was fired for her religious beliefs,” he said.
An assistant in Jacobs’ office refused to allow WND to ask him any questions and a spokesman for the school declined to answer any questions. A prepared statement released by the school said Dixon “was provided an opportunity to respond” but the school decided “there was just cause” for her firing.
“The public position Ms. Dixon took in the Toledo Free Press is in direct contradiction to university policies and procedures, as well as the institutional core values as defined in our strategic plan, and called into question her continued ability to lead a critical function within the administration as personnel actions or decisions taken in her capacity as associate vice president for human recourses could be challenged or placed at risk,” said the statement, attributed to Lawrence J. Burns.
Rooney said the case now is just a matter of “damages and what other remedies” will be pursued.
“She’s already been harmed,” he said. “The university has made its decision.”
“The Supreme Court has stated clearly, as a matter of constitutional law, if you’re a public employee you can speak as an individual on matters of public concern. It’s protected speech,” he said.
The chain of events was launched by Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller’s column boasting of his support for the “gay” community.
“I have been tangentially immersed in the gay culture for so long, it’s a natural and common aspect of life. Three decades of loving these friends and family and sharing their successes in managing careers and raising families has jaded me to the hatred and prejudice many people had against the gay community. … As a middle-aged, overweight white guy with graying facial hair, I am America’s ruling demographic, so the gay rights struggle is something I experience secondhand, like my black friends’ struggles and my wheelchair-bound friends’ struggles,” he wrote.
He then wrote about moderating a town hall meeting sponsored by two homosexual activists groups.
It dealt “with issues of employment discrimination against gay people,” he said. According to the panelists, he continued, “UT has offered domestic partner benefits since then-president Dan Johnson signed them into effect. The Medical University of Ohio did not offer those benefits. When the institutions merged, UT employees retained the domestic-partner benefits, but MUO employees were not offered them. So, people working for the same employer do not have access to the same benefits.”
Dixon then responded.
“I respectfully submit a different perspective for Miller and Toledo Free Press readers to consider. … First, human beings, regardless of their choices in life, are of ultimate value to God and should be viewed the same by others. At the same time, one’s personal choices lead to outcomes either positive or negative,” she said.
“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 evidenced by the growing population of PFOX (Parents and Friends of Ex Gays) and Exodus International just to name a few.
WND also reported when an author who wrote two books about homosexuality told managers at Toledo in an open letter they should praise an administrator who said being “gay” is not the same as black, not punish her.
Robert A.J. Gagnon, the author of “The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics” and “Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views,” said, “Ms. Dixon is absolutely right that sexual orientation is not akin to race or sex. Unlike a homosexual orientation, race and sex are 100 percent congenitally predetermined, cannot be fundamentally changed in their essence by cultural influences, and are not a primary or direct desire for behavior that is incompatible with embodied structures.”
“Your suspension of Ms. Crystal Dixon, associate vice president of human resources at the University of Toledo, for rejecting a comparison between homosexuality on the one hand and being black or handicapped on the other hand constitutes, in my view, a gross injustice and an expression of the very intolerance that you claim to abhor,” he wrote.
Gagnon said the closer parallels to adult-committed homosexual relations are not ethnicity or gender but, rather, adult-committed incestuous unions and adult-committed polysexual unions.
“Give America more exposure to upscale, adult-committed polygamous bonds (and adult-committed incestuous bonds) and American will learn to be more tolerant of such bonds…,” he wrote. “Those who dismiss a polygamy analogy and an incest analogy on the grounds that polygamy and incest always produce ‘demonstrable harm’ are simply responding out of their ‘polyphobia’ and ‘incest-phobia.’ And then you can suspend people who say critical things about such relationships, once you overcome your own prejudices.”
Gagnon holds degrees from Princeton, Harvard and Dartmouth and wrote the “Sexuality” entry for the “New Dictionary of Christian Apologetics,” the same entry for the “Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of Scripture,” and dozens of other such articles. He’s written for “Theology Matters,” “Catholic Biblical Quarterly” and “Journal of Biblical Literature.”
He says the most “shameful” part of the University of Toledo’s actions is that managers are shutting off any dissent.
Such actions “come out of the Stalinistic, Soviet state. This is the kind of elimination of any expression of differences of opinion [found there],” he said.