Ayvaunn Penn, All Christian News
The world we live in continues to confuse, lose, and twist values with the passing of each and every day. Crystal Dixon, an employee of the University of Toledo was terminated from her job for expressing her Christian views on homosexuality.
In 2008, Dixon read a piece in the Toledo Free Press that compared adversity faced by the LGBT community to that of the black civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s. As a Christian African-American woman, she made the decision to write a response piece to the op-ed that detailed her views. In her piece published on April 18, 2008, Dixon writes:
“I respectfully submit a different perspective for [the author of the original op-ed] and Toledo Free Press readers to consider….I take 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. 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.”
Before even a month could pass, the University of Toledo President Dr. Lloyd Jacobs decided to fire Dixon who received her termination letter on May 12, 2008. The letter said her termination was effective immediately due to the “public position [she] took in the Taledo Free Press. “That was not enough for Jacobs, however. He even released a public statement that was published in the Toledo Free Press. The statement read:
“It is necessary… for me to repudiate much of her writing…[Crystal Dixon’s] comments do not accord with the values of the University of Toledo. … We will be taking certain internal actions in this instance to more fully align our utterances and actions with this value system.”
This just does not make any sense. The author of the piece comparing the LGBT civil rights movement to that of the black civil rights movement is allowed to have a voice and speak freely, but Dixon cannot. Why in the world is that? Is not free, speech free speech, no matter what side of the fence you are on? Jacobs is undoubtedly in the wrong for firing Dixon. Feeling the same way, Dixon filed a federal law suit on the premises that her First and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been breached by Jacobs and the University of Toledo. To her dismay, however, the district court ruled against her stating that sexual diversity weighs more than her religious rights. When she filed an appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, Dixon received the same answer.
Justifiably so, over four years later, Dixon is still striving to champion her rights. In this span of time, she has enlisted the services of attorneys at the American Freedom Law Center — a Judeo-Christian law firm in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Just last week, Dixon’s current attorneys filed an appeal in the Sixth Circuit in an effort to gain a full re-hearing — an en banc review — on Dixon’s case. The courts will make their decision in the coming weeks. May true justice prevail.
The founder of The Penn Speaks and Your Black Poets, Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. To follow her on Facebook, click here. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.