Shortly after Crystal Dixon’s Op-Ed taking “great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims’” appeared in the Toledo Free Press, her employer, the University of Toledo, suspended her with pay from her position as associate vice president of human resources.
When the Ohio daily published her opinion piece, it did not identify Ms. Dixon’s position or place of employment, identifying her merely as a resident of Maumee.
While I do share her belief gay people are not civil rights’s victims, I don’t like some of the language she uses and don’t share her confidence in the work of “ex-gay” ministries. That said, she has every right to express her opinion, even if it be wrong-headed. That she did not list her job title at the university makes clear she was writing as an individual and not a representative of the University.
While gay rights’ advocates and others critical of her ideas have the freedom to express their disagreement, they should join me in condemning the University for suspending her. Yeah, she said some silly things, but on her own time.
Only if saying these silly things prevents her from doing her job should statements she makes away from work factor into any decisions her public sector employer makes regarding her employment. Government agencies should neither discriminate against someone because they’re gay nor against individuals because of their faith or their views on social issues.
And where are those who push for non-discrimination laws which would prevent private-sector employers from discriminating against gays in the case of this example of the public sector discriminating against a woman because of her political and social views?
One of them, Kim Welter, program manager for education and outreach of Equality Ohio, commends the university for its discriminatory action, telling the Cybercast News Service, “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.”
Yet, her organization doesn’t favor private sector employers handle their employees the best way they see fit. A quick gander at her Equalty Ohio’s web-site informs us that it favors the Buckeye State’s Equal Housing and Employment Act, a bill which would prevent private employers from acting in a manner similar to that taken by the University of Toledo and praised by Ms. Welter.
And the gay left accuses gay conservatives of hypocrisy! Here, we have a gay activist commending a university for discriminating against an employee because of her religious beliefs while fighting to prevent private employers from discriminating against individuals because of their sexual orientation.
Look, I’m not defending what Ms. Dixon said. I am defending her right to say it. If the crazy ideas she expresses on her own time don’t prevent her from doing her job on the state’s time, then she should be allowed to keep her job. And gay activists should defend her right to do so, particularly if they want us to take seriously their support for non-discrimination laws.