College Suspends Administrator for Op-Ed on Homosexuals

By Pete Winn | July 7, 2008 | 8:06 PM EDT

( - The University of Toledo has suspended with pay one of its administrators for writing a newspaper op-ed that questions whether homosexuality is a civil rights issue. The school said the administrator was suspended precisely because her views on homosexuality do not comport with those of the university, a state institution.

Crystal Dixon, associate vice president of human resources at the Ohio-based university, sparked controversy Apr. 18 when she wrote in the Toledo Free Press that she did not agree with comments by the newspaper's editor that portrayed homosexuals as civil rights victims.

In the column, "Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective," Dixon said she was not speaking on behalf of the university, but was writing privately as "a Black woman who happens to be an alumnus of the University of Toledo's Graduate School, an employee and a business owner."

Dixon said she took "great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are 'civil rights victims.' "

"I cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman," she wrote. "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."

Dixon referenced "ex-gay" individuals, many of whom, she said, "report that the impetus to their change of heart and lifestyle was a transformative experience with God; a realization that their choice of same-sex practices wreaked havoc in their psychological and physical lives."

Matt Lockwood, University of Toledo's director of public relations, confirmed that Dixon "was placed on paid administrative leave because of that column," and referred Cybercast News Service to a statement issued May 4 by Lloyd Jacobs, the university's president.

In it, Jacobs said that Dixon's comments "do not accord with the values of the University of Toledo," and that he felt it was "necessary, therefore, for me to repudiate much of her writing."

Jacobs also placed the university on record as supporting two pending domestic partner bills in the Ohio Legislature: Senate Bill 305 and House Bill 502.

"Those legislative initiatives extend to domestic partners a number of rights and privileges which I believe are assured by the constitutional rights of everyone in our state," adding that the university would be "taking action to align its policies with its own value system."

Homosexual activists condemned Dixon's comments and praised Jacobs for the action he took.

"We appreciate the support of the University of Toledo, and feel they are handling the issue of her being an employee there the best way that they see fit," said Kim Welter, program manager for education and outreach for Equality Ohio, a homosexual advocacy group.

Dixon's comments were "hurtful," Welter told Cybercast News Service .

"She's entitled to say what she wants to say, but I think it was unfortunate that in her position in human resources, she felt a need to do so," Welter added.

But Matt Barber, policy director for cultural issues at Concerned Women for America, a conservative organization, said the university appears to be discriminating against Dixon and was almost "inviting" a lawsuit.

"This is classic viewpoint discrimination," Barber said. "The First Amendment and Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act make it illegal for an employer to discriminate against an individual based on that individual's sincerely held religious belief."

Greg Quinlan, a former homosexual who serves as president of the Ohio Pro-Family Network, said the University of Toledo, like many other university campuses, has become a "bastion of fascism."

"Today, if you speak out against homosexuality on a college campus, you are considered a criminal," Quinlan told Cybercast News Service . "I've been out of the homosexual lifestyle for 16 years. And if you speak out as an ex-gay, you are always under attack. I've been slapped in the face. I've been screamed and yelled at. I've been called all kinds of names. When you disagree with someone, that doesn't mean you hate them."

Quinlan, a former homosexual activist who said he had raised "thousands of dollars" for the Human Rights Campaign Fund in the 1980s, said his own conversion came about slowly.

"The science is clear, absolutely clear: no one is born a homosexual. It is nurture, not nature," he said. "But if you say that, you are branded a bigot, you're branded as a monster, you're branded as a hater. You are branded as intolerant. But you are also, on many campuses, treated as if you have no right to your opinions."

Robert Knight, director of the Culture and Media Institute at the Media Research Center, agrees that many college campuses, once known for being champions of academic freedom, are closing their minds to alternative points of view.

"She is being singled out for telling the truth," Knight said, "and that is happening all too often on America's campuses, where speech codes and censures and disciplinary actions are undertaken to enforce a singular point of view on any number of topics. But the homosexual issue seems to be the area where university officials brook the least amount of dissent."

Knight said liberal-left elements on some campuses have gone so far as to actually suppress speakers who question the homosexual agenda, and noted a recent incident on the Smith College campus, as an example.

"A young man, who was presenting a scholarly refutation of claims made by homosexual proponents, was shouted down by a group of militant lesbians," Knight said, "and the administration, while saying it was unfortunate that this occurred, has taken no disciplinary action against those who disrupted the speaker."

Knight said many Americans have no idea how politically correct campuses have become largely because the media don't often report such cases. Worse, he said, many editors and reporters actually serve as cheerleaders for the homosexual cause.

"The media have played a major role in the success of the gay rights movement by excluding responsible dissent and promoting whatever the gay rights movement wants," Knight told Cybercast News Service . "I don't think it is unfair to say that most media, right down to the community level, are fully owned subsidiaries of the gay rights movement."

Calls to Dixon, meanwhile, were not returned.

(DISCLOSURE: Robert Knight is an employee of the Media Research Center, the parent company of Cybercast News Service.)

Link to Toledo Free Press Editor-in-Chief Michael Miller's column.

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