Anti-Gay Article A ’Divine Mandate,’ Says Fired University Employee
A former HR official with the University of Toledo spoke out about the loss of her job following a newspaper item in which she wrote that gays and lesbians have no claim to the civil rights movement because they "choose" their sexuality.
Crystal Dixon, a longtime Human Resources employee with the University of Toledo, was fired due to the administration’s concern about a public statement that gays and lesbians have no claim to the civil rights movement originating with an employee responsible for upholding the university’s non-discrimination policies.
Local CBS affiliate WTOL-11 reported on the story and said that Dixon appeared before her fellow End Time Christian Fellowship Church congregants on May 14 to say that the writing of the newspaper item that led to her dismissal was a "divine mandate."
Ms. Dixon, who is an African-American, wrote in "Gay Rights and Wrongs: Another Perspective," a column published in the Toledo Free Press that she took "great umbrage" at the idea that people "choosing the homosexual lifestyle" would see themselves, or be seen by others, as "civil rights victims."
Wrote Dixon in the column, "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."
Dixon did not see gays and lesbians in the same light. She wrote, "Daily, thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle," a claim Dixon evidently put forth as proof that, unlike skin color, sexuality is not innate and part of a person from birth.
Dixon’s column appeared in response to an earlier item in the Toledo Free Press written by Michael Miller, the publication’s editor-in-chief, lamenting that the state of Ohio, including the university, did not extend adequate rights and protections to the GLBT community.
In a Toledo Free Press column the appeared after Dixon’s piece, University President Lloyd Jacobs wrote, "Although I recognize it is common knowledge that Crystal Dixon is associate vice president for Human Resources at the University of Toledo, her comments do not accord with the values of the University of Toledo."
Continued Jacobs, "It is necessary, therefore, for me to repudiate much of her writing."
Jacobs also noted that it was true that an "asymmetry" existed at the university in terms of gay and lesbian versus heterosexual employee benefits parity.
GLBT groups pressured the university to take a stronger stand and fire Dixon; eventually, that is what happened.
Some individuals have claimed that with counseling, prayer, personal effort, or a combination of the three, they have been able to "overcome" unwanted attraction to persons of the same gender.
There is also some evidence that for certain individuals, sexual preference can be affected through counseling.
But it is far from clear that any and all gays and lesbians can be changed into heterosexuals, and the mental health profession is hesitant to endorse any such therapies for fear that, for the majority of patients, such counseling would either be ineffective or harmful.
Many so-called "ex-gays" say that although they are no longer sexually active with members of their own sex, they still experience continual attraction to persons of the same gender.
Others say that they have "overcome" feelings of attraction toward their own gender only by becoming "asexual" and completely repressing all sexual feelings.
The issue of race is equally charged. Plastic surgery techniques can alter an individual’s facial characteristics and even "bleach" skin tone, but such superficial changes are not widely accepted as a legitimate means to transform oneself from a member of one racial group into a member of another racial demographic.
In the case of Dixon’s firing, the question of espousing personal views versus maintaining a professional image on behalf of a larger organization, such as the university, has come into sharp focus.
Gay publication The Toledo Blade reported that a rally was convened on Dixon’s behalf at her church, the End Time Christian Fellowship, and that Dixon addressed her fellow congregants, saying, "Whether you agree with me or not is really not the issue. The real issue is that I, like every citizen in the United States, have a First Amendment right to exercise free speech and to express my religion."
Added Dixon, "I did so as a private citizen and I have been fired by a university that I have loved, served, and supported for many years."