Crystal Dixon's lawsuit fails

http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2012/02/07/Federal-court-dismisses-sui...

This, I am sure, is very disappointing for her...What are your thoughts?

No votes yet

Sadly, her speech WAS protected. Nobody stopped her from speaking. She can still speak now, if she wishes. But her employer no longer wanted her around, after she spoke.

Maybe someone can explain why her lawyers went with a First Amendment argument, instead of a wrongful discharge argument? I smell a red herring here.

Maybe the lawyers figured that the judge would be a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal who doesn't care about Constitutional Law? If so, they gambled and lost.

Ms. Dixon is a fine Christian woman with strong beliefs regarding sexuality but who unfortunately forgot that there is no longer free speech in this country, especially for those employed at a public university. I did not agree with the assertions in her column, but I admired her courage to speak out.

Patience is a great virtue.

Don, tell me: How was her speech stopped? Answer: It wasn't. OK, so then how is her continued speech being stopped? Answer: It isn't either.

A few centimeters of molehill does not a mountain make. She had, and still has, freedom of speech.

Don't like what the fine fellows at 'Bancroft High' did? Fine. Boycott them. Act in accordance to your liberties, as they have acted in accordance to theirs.

Agreed GZ.

Her civil rights were not violated. Her opinions went contrary to her employers published policy. When she decided to speak publicly she made a choice knowing her employers opinion. Your employer can fire you for virtually anything as long as they are not discriminating against you for your race, marital status, sex, religion, national orgin, etc.

Yahoo had a feature on this just yesterday. It addresses it quite well. I've heard many employees say they would "sue" the company if they lost their job. But those employees most times are ignorant of the law. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/power-your-future/10-workplace-myths-bust...

MikeyA

Basically, you guys are cool with somebody being fired from her job for exercising "free" speech. Has the right morphed into the left?

Patience is a great virtue.

Don,

I dare you to publish an anti-gay or anti-black article in the paper using your real name along with your company name and title. Hell, even post it to facebook...you'll be fire pretty quick becasue even if your company is even has-ass trying, it has written policies against these. Hell, go your company's facebook page and make a rasist joke, do you think you are entitled to keep your job?

HistoryMike lays it all out -
http://toledotalk.com/cgi-bin/tt.pl/article/108389/08Feb2012/Federal_cou...

This has already been hashed out, but Dixon was in a unique position as head of HR for the University of Toledo. Even if we accept the First Amendment argument, UT would likely have faced a mountain of lawsuits from every non-hired applicant or fired employee who could document a sexual orientation that "violates God's divine order." Had UT lost this suit, they would probably still pay to Dixon only a small fraction of the the damages that they would have faced from the sea of lawsuits that would have been filed if they chose to keep her in HR.

Had Dixon been employed in almost any other position in the university this would not have been a terminable offense, nor would it have generated much beyond some angry letters to the editor, but her unique role as developer and manager of the university's HR policies meant that she turned herself into a legal liability with the op-ed piece she composed.

And let's face the ultimate truth. In short, Dixon: a) should have known better than to jeopardize her job with such a controversial commentary; b) is a bumbling idiot who ought to have known better; or c) knew exactly what she was doing and chose to sacrifice her career for a moral stand.

"So has it been written, so shall it be."

She is free to say what she wants. She is free to hold any opinion.

Yet, where does the constitution say that she has a right to be employed? When you voice your opinion you take a risk. She knew her employer's policy didn't align with her beliefs, she identified herself as a university employee, she accepted the risk.

And as a consequence today she can say whatever she damn well pleases, can she not.

As an employer I would have the right to hire/employ people whose beliefs align with my business policy.

MikeyA

Goddamn shame when employers decide what "free" speech will be. She wrote her column as an individual, with a certain set of beliefs. Her unfortunate circumstance was being employed by an institution that sucks on the federal teat.

Patience is a great virtue.

What do you mean, 'when'? If I employ someone I decide if I want to keep them or not, and it's been that way for generations. If I find out that my director of IS is a screaming Moonbat and spouting a bunch of anti-freedom crap about gun control, I'll kick him to the curb in a New York minute. I'm paying the salary - see? Now for his part, he can go to work for a kinder, gentler company in, say, Chicago.

In this case Dixon can pick up right where she left off up in Michigan.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Additionally I believe she wrote that she was a UT administrator, I could be wrong because it's been so long but when you do that you are confronting your employee in a public forum.

MikeyA

Lost in this conversation is that Ms. Dixon opined that the gay rights movement should not be compared to the civil rights movement in importance. On that count, she scores.

Patience is a great virtue.

That sort of sounds like the opening of the Horn of Plenty, will only accommodate a finite number of hands.

She scored... scored high on the nutbag scale, that is. The discrimination that homosexuals face is exactly the same as that faced by racial minorities. And choice or not, a person should be free from such discrimination morally, as well as such discrimination legally from the government direction. We can't do much about the former, but we citizens can do much about the latter.

I must repeat: It doesn't matter if homosexual desires are chosen or innate. A person is free to be homosexual. That's the key issue, but wackos like Dixon can't bend their little brains about that.

"Lost in this conversation is that Ms. Dixon opined that the gay rights movement should not be compared to the civil rights movement in importance. On that count, she scores.

How so? You feel like it's ok to discriminate against certain members of society? The civil rights movement is constant and should not be reserved to people based on the color of their skin.

Pink Slip

Once again, Don, her now-previous employer didn't decide anything about her speech. She spoke. That's on record. The fact that we can always look that up well demonstrates that it was free speech, insofar that the media companies involved decide to pay to host it.

Her employer applied no present restraint nor future restraint on her speech. She is free to speak now. Nobody is stopping her from expressing her clearly loathsome and sociopathic opinion.

And I don't see what the heck federal funding has to do with this case. Care to explain that one?

What do you expect me to do, Don? What "Bancroft High School" did to her is lousy, but legal... just like what she did, where she disrespected homosexuals (that's also lousy, but legal).

I don't go to BHS and try not to spend my money there. That's all I can do as a citizen.

Insofar that you may be implying that I should protest... well, protest what, Don? The right of an employer to fire workers? I'll never protest that one, so don't hold your breath.

I sense creeping Liberalism in your online voice, Don. The creep Liberals believe that their majority opinion should be the law of the land. I am firmly opposed to mob rule. Are you? Go on record, Don: Are? You?

I too am disappointed about Ms. Dixon's case being dimissed. A group of Canadians once told me they admired the fact Americans had the right to free speech. I chuckled and told them, "Free speech is a beautiful thing, but understand there may be consequences. You may wake up and find your credit score took a nose dive, you have been terminated from your job, various social groups or organizations may have suspend your membership, so-called friends are no longer friends, creditors may call in loans, "

Speaking freely is a roll of the dice, but a freedom we shouild all cherish.

Freedom is not free. Every freedom comes at a cost.

MikeyA

It's utterly fascinating how quickly liberals will throw each other under the bus, given certain situations. I highly doubt UT is concerned about anyones' feelings. What is a bigger concern is groups shitting on campus police cars, or on the floor of the cafeteria at the Student Union.

Interesting follow-up article from the UT AAUP union:

Administrative Hypocrisy
by LindaMarie Rouillard, UT-AAUP Executive Board

Some University of Toledo administrators have been developing their leadership skills by participating in a "Global Leadership Summit," a program offered by the Willow Creek Association. This association is a ministry based in Barrington, Illinois; it broadcasts an annual leadership seminar around the world to a network of churches. The stated goal of the Willow Creek Association is to serve churches who hold to a historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity. This self-avowed interdenominational network of churches also denounces same-sex relationships.

The Global Leadership Summit is organized around the conviction that "that the maximum influence and impact of the Church is felt when all of its Christ-centered leaders are at the forefront of establishing and growing well led local churches, companies, schools, governments and social enterprises," (http://www.willowcreek.com/events/leadership/about.asp). This year, one of the featured speakers at the Summit was the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz. Mr. Schultz eventually refused to participate in the 2011 Global Leadership Summit because of Willow Creek's condemnatory statements about sexual orientation.

In 2010, the Jacobs' Administration, through Chuck Lehnert, then Vice President of Facilities and Construction, paid for eight employees, including several UT administrators to attend the Global Leadership Summit. This group included administrators from facilities management, a hall operations manager, a housekeeping manager, and two individuals in environmental services and grounds maintenance.

In 2011, the Jacobs' Administration and Chuck Lehnert sent another contingent of eight administrators to the Global Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday, August 11 and 12. In the group were administrators from Human Resources, including Connie Rubin, Senior Human Resources Officer, a clinical compliance advisor, a chief safety officer, a senior business manager in Facilities Management, and a supervisor from building services.

Acknowledgement of these registrations included the following statement by Willow Creek: "We excitedly await your coming to this event and pray that God will reveal amazing things that will serve you and your ministry."

Religion does have a place in a public institution of higher learning. UT offers religious studies programs. In October 2011, Dr. Jacobs announced the formation of a Center for Religious Understanding on our campus. This is commendable. Serious study of and dialogue among world religions are important steps in developing diversity and understanding. This is very different from a public institution spending taxpayer money for employees to participate in an orthodox Christian sponsored seminar during work hours.

There is an additional complication: while the Jacobs' Administration has paid for UT employees (including administrators from Human Resources) to participate in an event sponsored by Willow Creek Association, with its history of actively denouncing gays and refusing to acknowledge the validity of gay relationships, President Jacobs in 2008 fired Crystal Dixon, Associate Vice President of Human Resources at UT, for publicly stating her adherence to her fundamentalist religious beliefs. A recent court opinion has declared that her termination was not a violation of her right to free speech; rather the judge declared that "the damage she did to her ability to perform her job and to the University provide ample justification for her termination" (Toledo Blade, Feb. 7, 2012). In his statement to the Blade regarding the judge's decision, Dr. Jacobs said: "The University of Toledo is committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for all students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors, regardless of race, creed, age, gender, sexual orientation or physical ability."

This poses an interesting conundrum: if Crystal Dixon's religious beliefs affected her ability to do her job, how will participation in a fundamentalist church-sponsored "Global Leadership Summit" affect the ability of UT employees, in particular those in Human Resources, to perform their jobs? How can an organization such as Willow Creek with its general fundamentalist views help shape leadership at UT as our institution strives to advance diversity? How can Willow Creek with its views on sexual orientation help UT create an environment that celebrates diversity? What kind of leadership can we expect from Chuck Lehnert, Vice President of Administration, and Connie Rubin, Senior Human Resources Officer?

Until the lion writes his own story, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter (African proverb)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.