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Judge Dismisses Claim of Former U. of Toledo Official Who Was Fired for Anti-Gay-Rights Column

A federal judge dismissed this week the lawsuit of a former University of Toledo administrator who complained that the university violated her rights to free speech and equal protection when it fired her nearly four years ago for writing a column critical of gay rights.

In April 2008, Crystal Dixon, who was associate vice president for human resources, wrote a letter to the editor of the Toledo Free Press, in which she objected to the notion that gay people are “civil-rights victims.” Unlike one’s race, homosexuality, she wrote, is purely a choice.

Ms. Dixon argued in her lawsuit, among other things, that the university had fired her for speech protected under the First Amendment. But a court ruled on Monday that her remarks, as a public employee, were sufficiently insubordinate for the university to be legally justified in firing her. The judge said that the university had the right to protect its interests in making gay employees feel welcome, attracting prospective employees who may be gay, and avoiding potential discrimination lawsuits, all of which may have been threatened by Ms. Dixon’s comments.

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