Tuesday, December 18, 2012

University's Firing Of HR-VP Over Remarks About Gays Is Upheld By 6th Circuit

In Dixon v. University of Toledo, (6th Cir., Dec. 17, 2012), the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals held that the University of Toledo-- part of the state University system in Ohio-- did not violate the 1st Amendment free expression rights of its Associate Vice President for Human Resources when it terminated her because of an op-ed column she wrote expressing her views about homosexuality.  Responding to an editorial in the Toledo Free Press that implicitly compared the gay rights movement to the civil-rights movement, UT Associate VP Crystal Dixon, expressing her views as a Christian, African-American woman, argued that homosexuality is not an immutable characteristic.  She was fired because the views she expressed contradicted University policies, procedures and the core values of its strategic plan. (See prior posting.) The 6th Circuit held that a policy-making official "who writes publicly against the very policies that her government employer charges her with creating, promoting, and enforcing" is not engaging in speech that is protected by the 1st Amendment.  According to the court, Dixon's op-ed implicitly suggests that LGBT employees and students are not entitled to civil rights protections.  AP reports on the decision. See prior related posting.) [Thanks to Alliance Alert for the lead.]