Crystal Dixon reaction lettersWritten by Autumn Lee | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Progress in jeopardy
This is in response to your publication of Crystal Dixon’s article. The article is a resentful diatribe against homosexual people. Dixon begrudges gays’ successful careers, decent salaries and claims to equitable benefits.
Even more disturbing are her charges that gay partnerships are merely convenient “life style” choices that “violate God’s divine order.” She says she cannot wake up tomorrow and not be a black woman. Has it occurred to her that gay people perhaps also cannot wake up the next day and not be gay? Last I heard, the jury is still out on whether sexual orientation is genetically/biologically pre-determined. Clearly, environmental and social factors also shape sexual behavior.
The article culminates in Dixon’s demand that gays renounce their sexuality. Hasn’t there been enough renunciation and repression of sexuality in many of this world’s cultures, enough grief and dysfunction caused by repression among all people, but especially among women? Hasn’t there been enough denial of sexual enjoyment to people who are not harming anyone but rather contribute to each other’s happiness? There are and should be laws prohibiting sexual conduct that is harmful to others. But I thought we had progressed to the point where sexual unions of consenting adults were no longer under indictment, at least not in this enlightened land of the free whose founders had the foresight to write the pursuit of happiness into one of its basic laws, the Declaration of Independence.
Dixon’s article is but one reminder that such progress is still in jeopardy.
Uta Liebmann Schaub, Ph.D.
Not a choice to be gay
As a gay man, a professional in state government for over 30 years and a concerned community member, I must comment on Crystal Dixon’s recent guest opinion in Toledo Free Press.
First, I have not made a choice to be gay — it simply is the way God made me and I accept this and have lived with this fact for over 60 years. Her facts are wrong, as the ex-gay movement she comments on has been condemned by the medical and psychological community for some time and what they practice is a form of brain washing and as such is harmful. She purports that economic data does not support the need for equality, but gay men and women are denied equal rights in this country and harmed in many ways by the failure of governments to protect us as equal citizens. She denies the merits of the civil rights fight that blacks have fought for a long time by failing to see that equality is for all people without exception.
I agree with her that God created us with the right to choose, but I have never in my 61 years have been given an opportunity to make a choice about my sexual orientation.
Ms. Dixon’s comments must be considered inflammatory and in a university environment such as the University of Toledo must be condemned and she must face the consequences of her inappropriate comments.
Thank you for your attention to my opinion and I hope to very soon see that the university has taken appropriate actions regarding this administrator.
Barry R. Burk, Toledo
As a student of UT, a member of the media and a community member, I found Crystal Dixon’s homophobic remarks printed in the Toledo Free Press disgusting. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of religious choice, but I do not believe in hate or intolerance. Dixon’s misguided religious beliefs are her opinions alone. Her god or rather how she interprets her god’s words has no consequence on actual truth. For her — a black woman — to suggest it is OK to practice bigotry against gays and lesbians (or anyone for that matter) because they choose to be so is outrageous and intolerable!
Every person deserves equal civil rights. A mere 50 years ago a significant part of the American population wrongly believed — out of cultural habit — that African Americans weren’t worthy of equal rights. But those of all races, ages and genders took up the cause to ensure a better future for the black community, an effort which no doubt has allowed people like Dixon to live up to their potential and secure a bright career path, education and future for themselves and their families.
Because of this, I find it appalling that she would suggest any sect of people should be held and kept down for any reason, especially because of the religion she has chosen to subscribe to. And after all, it is just that, isn’t it? A choice. Ms. Dixon could leave her hateful church any day, if she would simply choose to do so.
The University of Toledo, if it truly sees itself as an enlightening institution and a local leader in 21st century morale, ethics and intelligence, should move to expel people like Ms. Davis [sic] from its roster, and offer employees of any race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. fair and equal benefits for themselves and their partners.
I too will wake tomorrow as my creator intended — loving and accepting of everyone accept hate mongers.
Ryan A. Bunch, Toledo
I recently read an article titled, “Gay rights and wrongs: Another perspective,” by Crystal Dixon. It truly saddened my heart to hear God and Jesus used in such hateful speech. Let us not forget that Jesus died for all of our sins and, yes, that even means people you don’t like or agree with. The position that Dixon takes is one of Supreme Judgment, which is reserved for God and God alone.
Unfortunately Dixon is not alone in her opinion about gay rights and many have suffered as a result. Many have been beaten, shunned and even murdered because of who they are, not because they chose this lifestyle. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people run far away from the church because of people like you, Ms. Dixon, not because of Jesus, but because we insist on our own ignorance instead of the true teaching of Jesus, LUKE 8:12 “Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts.”
Who are you, Ms. Dixon, the former or the latter? I’m afraid the word of hate is the latter.
I also have a quote for all my gay brothers and sisters: LUKE 9:5 “And whoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust of your feet as a testimony against them.”
I did not search for these quotes; they were given to me. I pulled the bible from my drawer and opened the book and it fell on these two pages.
I have run away from the church myself because of people like Dixon filled with hate and their own egos instead of the word of God and the true teachings of Jesus. I have become a Buddhist because they preach of peace, love, non-killing and acceptance just like Jesus did.
I had to leave the church to find Jesus, which is sad. I still believe in God and pray to Jesus, our beloved savior, and will never turn my back on Christ, but I will turn my back to ignorance!
I also hold a master’s degree from the University of Toledo and have been employed there for over ten years.
Joseph Mold, Toledo
Hiding behind God
Ignorance is truly bliss … How dare you hide behind your definition of bigotry in the name of God? As someone of a minority who supposedly believes in the love and deliverance of Jesus Christ, you are missing the point. Hate is hate and bigotry is bigotry. We should not live in a world where wrong is only defined by who has been wronged the most. And I don’t remember “Love thy neighbor, except … “or the Golden Rule being “Treat others, as you would like to be treated, except if you were … ”
Though homosexuality is not a choice, but let’s for argument’s sake say it is. So what? Are you advocating that it is OK to deny someone’s pursuit of liberty or freedom because you don’t like it? Denying someone’s pursuit of liberty is denying someone their civil rights. So if we, as a society, decided to live under the notion that we should be able to restrict someone’s freedom because of their choices, then let us deny single mothers assistance because they choose to have kids, let us promote the unwarranted arresting of black kids because they choose to dress and act like thugs, and let us not respect women because they choose to dress provocatively.
You use median economic data to show that there aren’t any real problems with homosexuals in America because they went to school and earn a good living, while statisically, black men don’t. Huh? So if one has money, then they don’t have any problems. Well, Ms. Dixon, you have a graduate degree and it looks like you are employed. I guess your problems are over. I guess homosexuals don’t have to worry about getting sucker punched in a bar or beat up in a park because they can afford the lawyers and insurance, right?
Forcing someone to live in denial and shame because of who they are is wrong and that is a sin. Remember, “Ye without sin may cast the first stone?” Bigotry and ignorance under any other name is still a sin. And as for God’s divine order, the religious right in this country strive to keep loving same-sex couples from marrying, while protecting the sanctity of marriage for straights with a divorce rate of 50 percent. And those who are against same-sex marriage in this country, yet support civil unions, should be ashamed to even think that this is a viable alternative.
Separate but equal has never been equal in this country and it never will … Don’t you agree, Ms. Dixon?
Paul Haslinger, Toledo
Stunned and angered
Dear Dr. Jacobs, I am the executive director of Rainbow Area Youth (RAY), which is a peer support group for gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth in the area. We have been holding weekly support meetings for just under 12 years. In that time, over 1,100 youth ages 13 to 19 have attended. Even more have contacted me by phone. Many have lived too far away to attend or are not out to their parents or others.
I just read remarks made by Crystal Dixon, the associate vice President for Human Resources at the University of Toledo. Her religious rant against the GLBTQ community is appalling in my view. She may hold any religious views she wishes, but as an employee of the University of Toledo, I think she was way out of bounds by placing those views in a local publication. That she is employed in Human Resources, I find it even more egregious.
How can the University of Toledo claim to protect the rights of GLBTQ students or faculty members if Dixon holds such views? Protecting the rights of the GLBTQ community in Toledo isn’t a matter of ethical/moral/religious views, it is a matter of law.
I started RAY after my son told me he was gay when he was 17. I remember how worried I was about him. He was getting ready to attend Ohio State University. Just the previous year, one of the dorms at Ohio State had experienced blatant harassment of a gay student. I called the head of the honors program and expressed my concerns about my son. She reassured me that the students involved in the harassment had been expelled, and the rights of all students are protected. My son went on to Ohio State and excelled in all areas. He continued graduate school at Princeton. If I had read any comments similar to Ms. Dixon’s from anyone employed by Ohio State University, I would have been horrified.
People are entitled to their narrow-minded views, but given their position or title, they are not entitled to express them. I am stunned and angered by what I read in the Free Press! The entire learning community at the University of Toledo should feel the same way. Please tell me what you plan to do to demonstrate that the University of Toledo does, indeed, respect and protect its GLBTQ students and faculty members.
Brenda J. Spurlin
Executive Director, Rainbow Area Youth
While I would never deny anyone their right to free speech, the guest opinion by Crystal Dixon nearly stretched my beliefs. This woman, who is associate vice president for Human Resources at the University of Toledo, spews her religious beliefs and couches her negative and archaic position in scripture. Anyone with any progressive or intuitive intelligence knows that gays have not made a “choice” any more than she made a choice to be a woman of color. She further obfuscates the issue by spouting numbers and percentages as if that would validate her sophomoric position.
I wonder how UT President Lloyd Jacobs finds this type of intolerant employee fitting into the university’s strategic plan for diversity.
For her as a black woman with the benefit of extensive education to be a proponent of inequality is at best ridiculous and at worst a betrayal of promoting an inclusive society. To further preach that a loving God has a place for everyone except for a particular segment of society is both insulting and a double standard in the guise of religion. Thank God people with these types of values are fewer every day.
I find as much credence in her opinion as I would that of a white supremacist. Two Ohio Highway patrolmen were recently fired from their jobs for promoting bigotry … I believe the University of Toledo should look closely at its policies in the same fashion.
Tom Brooks, Maumee
Support for Dixon
I support the article written by Crystal Dixon. I do not lump lesbian/gay lifestyle choices under the umbrella of civil rights as that term is used to denote the struggles of people of color. The NAACP notwithstanding.
Gay/lesbian lifestyles are a choice; being black is a non-negotiable birthmark. I do not advocate placing gay unions on the par of heterosexual marriages. If that is offensive, so be it.
As for civil rights regarding employment, housing and medical, everyone is entitled to those benefits regardless of their chosen sexual orientation, but gay marriage and bible-based marriages of a man and of a woman are not on the same standing; never will be.
I know it is not hip or cool or “PC” to invoke God or his commands, but for the record, God does not condone or favor homosexuality. I could cite you the bible verses that condemn such a lifestyle, but I am sure you know them by heart.
Jesus, the savior, gives all mankind choices, and one choice will lead to life and one choice will lead to death. If that is too black and white, your creator (whether or not you acknowledge him) made that statement. Go and voice your complaint to him about his sovereign design.
One does not have to “hate” gays and lesbians to state that their clamor for equal marital rights with heterosexual unions is contrary to God’s law. Love the sinner; hate the sin.
No apologies here.
Lafe Tolliver, Toledo
Jacobs is intolerant
In response to the guest column written by Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, president of the University of Toledo, I would like to take a moment to highlight Dr. Jacob’s intellectual hypocrisy by portraying himself and the University of Toledo as a beacon of tolerance. In early May, Dr. Jacobs placed Crystal Dixon, associate vice president for human resources, on administrative leave, for daring to express her political and religious beliefs about the homosexual lifestyle.
Ms. Dixon wrote a well-articulated letter in the Free Press presenting her views on homosexuals choosing their lifestyle and presenting data debunking the myth that they are economically discriminated against. Following her indefinite punishment, Dr. Jacobs took it upon himself to repudiate her personal and religious beliefs based on UT’s commitment to diversity. Additionally, Dr. Jacob’s claimed UT was a “Safe Place” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning individuals.
The only things that are NOT safe at UT are the first amendment and conservative people. The hypocrisy of the president to claim UT is a place of “diversity,” while he punishes and publicly condemns a state employee for expressing her personal views is outrageous. Dr. Jacob’s decision and actions epitomizes the self-effacing, liberal intolerance that engulfs universities across America. Can you imagine Dr. Jacobs humiliating an employee who gave her own opinion on why the traditional-family lifestyle is wrong? Of course, Dr. Jacobs would not dare challenge the homosexual lobby that he cowers to defend in this instance.
I would advise Dr. Jacobs to seek outside legal counsel in the likes of O.J. Simpson’s defense team, because his intolerance to traditional “opinions” and his disregard for the first amendment have crossed the line.
Norma Merrin, Waterville
Unbelievable that someone has to be put on leave because they simply say that homosexuality is a choice. Has anyone proven its not? Funny how the politically correct homosexual agenda is constantly spouting off about freedoms, but is the first to demand freedom be taken away from those who disagree with it.
Bill Kudzia, Toledo
I am in total disbelief and shock to think that a person who expresses a personal opinion based on religious beliefs would be put on administrative leave. Anyone reading her article should conclude that she was expressing her personal beliefs and was not attacking the values of the University of Toledo. She was not speaking for the University of Toledo nor representing herself as acting in her official capacity at UT.
I therefore consider this action a gross violation of her freedom of speech. Every individual has a right to express their opinions so long as they do not intend to harm others. The action by the University of Toledo demonstrates an institutional intolerance for people with strong religious convictions and a denial of their rights to express them.
Ms. Crystal Dixon stated the beliefs of many people who hold religious convictions that, as they believe, are based on moral laws coming from God. Since moral laws come from God, we cannot change them. Many faiths hold beliefs similar to hers. She presented the fundamental Christian belief. She does not condemn anyone, but suggests a way for them to change through conversion to fundamental Christian beliefs. She provides examples of people who have experienced conversion.
People who do not hold the same beliefs as others can be offended. However, they need to recognize the rights of the individual to express their beliefs. I find statements in the article by Michael Miller to be highly inaccurate and offensive. He generalizes when describing fundamental Christians. A statement of belief is not anti-gay propaganda; people who hold these beliefs are not prejudiced against gays and they are not condescending or evil to gays. One should not label others evil because they hold certain beliefs.
The statements by Miller and the action by the University of Toledo clearly illustrate intolerance for people with views based on religions convictions that appear to be contrary to their values. In this case, a great injustice has been done to Crystal Dixon.
Andrew G. Heydinger, UT Department of Civil Engineering
What difference does it make?
Mr. Jacobs, your decision to suspend Ms. Dixon is nothing more than what one would expect from a totalitarian regime. To be educated, which you obviously are not, you should accept opposing viewpoints not strangle those in keeping with political correctness. I feel sorry for you and your university that freedom of ideas are not tolerated at UT.
Your school’s diversity program is nothing more than political indoctrination to support the pro-homosexual agenda. Shame on you for imposing a litmus test in retaining and attracting only faculty, staff and students that hold this bias. What is wrong with traditional views? Why must traditional views be purposefully silenced?
Why should personal sexual behavior have to be protected or promoted anyway? What difference does someone’s sexual preference mean in an academic community?
Randy Shoemaker, Cincinnati
Are you kidding?
“We will be taking certain internal actions in this instance to more fully align our utterances and actions with this value system,” wrote Dr. Lloyd Jacobs, University of Toledo president, in his guest column in the May 4 edition of Toledo Free Press.
It was in response to the April column Crystal Dixon wrote stating, “I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are ‘civil rights victims.’ ”
I’m very concerned about Dr. Jacobs’ intention to take “certain actions … to more fully align our utterances and action with this value system.” I truly don’t think I’ve heard a more fascist statement coming from a university president in my life.
He is going to take “certain actions” to make sure that “our utterances” are more fully aligned with his value system. Are you kidding me?
So, freedom of speech and thought stop at the UT campus border? Is debate dead on this campus, or is it just verboten on certain issues?
Is bashing the president, the military and the College Republicans acceptable, while debating race, gender and gay issues off limits? Is there a UT-approved “utterance” book heading to the presses right now to more “fully align” us?
It certainly strikes me that Crystal Dixon has been sacrificed by UT President Lloyd Jacobs because she was not fully aligned.
Matthew Bartow, Toledo
Dr. Jacobs, are you and/or your upper-level colleagues out of your minds? Or are you fascists? Are you informed on the crucial ontological differences between gays, ethnicities and handicapped persons? Are you actually so misinformed, so ignorant, that you consider them as all belonging to the same category?
I disagree with Ms. Dixon’s implication (if her words have been reported accurately) that a person could conceivably wake up one morning and “choose” to be gay. On the other hand, the idea of being “born” gay is not the only alternative: one can also speak of the third scenario, that of various personal and cultural pressures, along with one’s own choices on relatively “small” matters (e.g., sexual experimentation), all conspiring and leading incrementally over time toward a homosexual orientation. Does personal choice factor into that time-spanning complex? Of course. But you will note — if you’re interested in precise, objective thinking on the matter — that I have sketched a model different from and more realistic than the crassly expressed “they ‘choose’ to be gay” idea.
However, I can argue another angle as well. What if it turned out to be the case (since it has not been proved) that gays are born that way? Does it necessarily follow that homosexuality should therefore be considered OK or healthy? No, it does not automatically follow, since we could list any number of conditions or behavioral tendencies with which one could be born due to faulty wiring in their brains, and the mere fact that a person could be born with any such condition does not automatically make that condition a good thing. Pedophiles are often spoken of as having an illness or being irrevocably wired to behave as they do. Well, could they use the “born with it” argument to defend what they do, to conclude that it’s OK or healthy? Of course not! So even if gays were born that way, it would not necessarily mean we should embrace or endorse homosexuality as being a good thing!
How do you not get that? You’re an educator and you can’t analyze things more deeply and rationally than you have?
My point here is that there are certainly other valid perspectives on homosexuality that the current politically correct model has neither the ability nor the right to sit in judgment on, much less suppress and punish. There is no necessary reason to assume that a gay person should be classified along with an identifiable ethnicity or with handicapped persons or whatever other category. Therefore there is no reason to have reacted negatively, much less retributively, toward Dixon for what she said. You and your fellow Gestapo officers should be ashamed of both your treatment of her as well as your own level of rationality.
Apparently you’ve forgotten that you’re the president of a university — you know, an entity involving differing viewpoints? And apparently you have developed the delusion that you govern a “monoversity.” Apparently those of the political correctness mindset are very concerned about making universities a safe place for gays but not safe places for rational dissent.
Andy Derksen, Toronto, Canada
I find Dr. Lloyd Jacobs punishment of Ms Crystal Dixon highly offensive and smacking of Taliban mentality. This man, sitting in his little office, trying to deny her the right of free speech and religious expression. I did not read anything in Ms Dixon’s paper that was denying gay rights or offensive, although I do not agree with her views, we should all be defending her right to state it! Any attempt to silence an individual belief or expression should have individuals up in arms.
I have been hearing alarming rumors about Universities suppressing individual expression and beliefs but did not believe it until today. It is a sad state affairs when this man would punish a conservative belief which our founding fathers held.
Linda Bunch, San Antonio, TX