Toledo Administrator Fired over Op-ed on Gay Rights

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The Toledo Blade is reporting that Crystal Dixon, an associate vice president for human resources at the University of Toledo, has been terminated. The firing was motivated by a guest column that Ms. Dixon wrote for the Toledo Free Press about a month ago titled”Gay Rights and Wrongs: Another Perspective.”Ms. Dixon was responding to an earlier editorial in the paper that included criticism of the University of  Toledo for failing to offer domestic partner benefits to the employees of its medical college.

In her guest column, Ms. Dixon wrote:

“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.”

She then included data on the median income of lesbians and gay men that appears misleading:without any reference to its source or any explanation of why it was included at all:and addressed the benefits situation at the University of Toledo. She closed with an ominous paragraph (her”final and most important point”) about how we all have free will, but that we must each deal with the”consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God’s divine order.”

To do some obvious damage control, the President of the University of Toledo followed-up with a guest column of his own titled”UT Protects Gay Rights.”The university then placed Ms. Dixon on leave, and it terminated her last Thursday. The Toledo Blade story contains the following reporting and excerpts from the letter that the university sent to Ms. Dixon informing her of its decision:

“A letter to Ms. Dixon informing her of her termination, stated ‘The public position you have taken in the Toledo Free Press is in direct contradiction to university policies and procedures as well as the core values of the strategic plan which is mission critical.'”

“It went on to say her position calls into question her ability to continue in her role as an administrator in charge of personnel actions and decisions and that ‘the result is a loss of confidence in you as an administrator.'”

Ms. Dixon is apparently considering a lawsuit against the university relating to her termination. Certainly, Ms. Dixon is entitled to her opinion, however misinformed it may be. But it would seem that the university, which is a public institution, is equally entitled to have individuals in its personnel department who will uphold its nondiscrimination policies and not publicly undermine its ability to recruit employees:both gay and straight.

-Anthony C. Infanti

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0 Responses to Toledo Administrator Fired over Op-ed on Gay Rights

  1. Tom Dockweiler says:

    Agree or disagree with Ms. Dixon’s opinion, but don’t miss the irony that the motto at the top of this column provides. “It is better to speak.”

  2. Ann Bartow says:

    I’m pretty sure Tony believes she has every right to speak. His point is that speech can have consequences. So I guess I’m missing the “irony.”

  3. Tom Dockweiler says:

    Wow. I left out the end quote marks, included an extra be, left the s off of consequences, and used a period instead of a question mark. Too quick on the mouse today. Sorry about that.

  4. bob coley jr says:

    All we do has consequences. One of the best consequences I can think of comes from the act of remembering that fact. I supose this is the genisis of the saying “think before you speak”, or act.

  5. Tom Dockweiler says:

    I must still be doing something wrong when I try to post. Below is the gist of the message I thought I had sent with all the errors in it. This time hopefully without all the errors.

    From dictionary.com “The essential feature of irony is the indirect presentation of a contradiction between an action or expression and the context in which it occurs.”

    I don’t know if it was Tony’s point that speech (a choice Crystal made) can have consequences or not. If it was then how can it be “ominous” for Crystal to state the same point that choice have consequences. One doesn’t have to take sides in this debate to see the irony in that.

  6. Ann Bartow says:

    Did your “lost” comment have links? That sometimes triggers the spam filter.

  7. Tom Dockweiler says:

    Ann

    Thanks for the advice. I don’t think it did, but given the errors I know I had and the errors that I still let through, I could have done just about anything.

    Bob is right. Living with the memory of what we have done is a very important consequence both for good and bad.

    May our memories today be good.

  8. bob coley jr says:

    Thanks Tom. No big revelation on my part though. The cosequences come about whether we see them, want them, or are even aware of them. Just ask an oldster like me when my life crashes into my present. You are so right to thank Ann, one of the good consequences. You must be doing something right!

  9. Anthony Infanti says:

    Sorry to come so late to the comments, but I’ve been traveling today. I certainly do believe that Ms. Dixon has every right to speak out. But our words can have consequences just as our actions do. I would add that I do find it ironic that someone who is so keen to warn lesbians and gay men about the consequences of their actions (and to speak so ominously—see below for more on that—about the consequences of those actions) is considering a lawsuit to avoid the consequences of her choice to write and publish that column.

    In terms of the use of the word “ominous,” you should go back and take a look at the column that she wrote. If you take a look at it, you will see that the paragraph that I am talking about sends (however obliquely) the usual religious message of hellfire/brimstone/damnation for lesbians and gay men—indeed the last part of the sentence that I quote in the post clearly suggests it with its talk of violating the divine order. At least for me, allusions to the eternal damnation that will flow from my “choice” to be gay are “ominous.”

  10. bob coley jr says:

    We see this not so veiled way of trying to express oposition to something all the time as a way to try and force or coerce a unprovable opinion or stance. The fact that it is used as a tactic is truly (as Mr. Infanti says) “ominous” since it’s consequences may lead to poor or harmful or false conclusions or actions. I believe the article was written with a full hope that consequences would ensue. This posability is the reason, it seems to me, that free speech is so important and must be used. Of course the publisher was free not to publish the piece, AND must bear the consequences of doing so.

  11. bob coley jr says:

    Oh, you should read the great (my opinion) Ben Franklin’s essay on FREE SPEECH where he admits to censorship in his OWN publishing as his right.