Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Appeals Court: OK to fire HR Director for view on Gay Rights

It was perfectly legal for the University of Toledo to fire an HR administrator because she wrote an opinion piece challenging gay rights, according to a federal court. The appeals panel took a look at a lower court's decision to side with the school when Crystal Dixon was dismissed, based on her opinion essay. She had sued, accusing the public university of violating her constitutional rights. Specifically, her 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law by punishing her for expressing her views on homosexuality while other university employees were allowed to state views on homosexuality. The article came out in the Toledo Free Press in 2008. Dixon wrote “As a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and business owner, I takegreat umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil-rights victims'" because they have made "a life decision." In a school hearing, Dixon said her opinion did not prevent her from performing her duty and that she had even hired at least one gay person to work in her department. But the appeals court ruled that her expressed opinion conflicted directly with the policies she was supposed to enforce at the university and the fact her article was a statement of her own views as a private citizen did not matter.

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