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Ohio College Administrator on Paid Leave for Remarks About Gays

Crystal Dixon, the University of Toledo's associate vice president of human resources, was placed on paid leave after she published an article in the Toledo Free Press in April responding to a piece in the paper about gay rights, WTOL reports.

DixonSaid Dixon: "As a Black woman ... 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. Daily thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle."

She concluded: "My final and most important point. There is a divine order. God created human kind male and female (Genesis 1:27). God created humans with an inalienable right to choose. There are consequences for each of our choices, including those who violate God's divine order."

Said Rob Salem, UT clinical law professor and board member of Equality Toledo: "The problem for me is that this is somebody that is charge of a major department of a major institution. She talks about .... homosexuality being a choice. And those views are refuted by the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association."

Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective [toledo free press]
Gays not civil rights victims, UT administrator argues [wtol]

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  1. and if we're quoting, whatever happened to,

    "Whatever you do for the least of these my brothers, you do it to me." (Matthew 25:40)

    My understanding is that jesus' word trumps moses...

    Posted by: MiKem | May 2, 2008 1:55:17 PM

  2. Don't take our word for it, Crystal, take Coretta Scott King's:

    Coretta Scott King: Homophobia Same as Racism

    Of course, there's a reason the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force links the issues of African-American civil rights and gay civil rights: Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King's widow, told them to. In a remarkable address before the Task Force's annual meeting, Mrs. King gave a forceful statement on the importance of gay rights to the overall civil rights struggle (read Mrs. King's entire speech here.)

    And this was not the first time Mrs. King made it clear that groups like the Concerned Women for America have no idea what they're talking about when they try to speak on behalf of African-Americans by criticizing the struggle for gay equality. Excerpts of Mrs. King's numerous public statements in favor of gay civil rights are posted below. Please feel free to cite any of the following quotations the next time a far-right extremist dares to speak on behalf of Martin Luther King and America's African-American community:

    Make Room At The Table for Lesbian and Gay People

    Coretta Scott King, speaking four days before the 30th anniversary of her husband's assassination, said Tuesday the civil rights leader's memory demanded a strong stand for gay and lesbian rights. "I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice," she said. "But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" "I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people," she said. - Reuters, March 31, 1998.

    Homophobia is Like Racism and Anti-Semitism

    Speaking before nearly 600 people at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel,
    Coretta Scott King, the wife of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Tuesday called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. "Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood," King stated. "This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group." - Chicago Defender, April 1, 1998, front page.

    MLK's Struggle Parallels The Gay Rights Movement

    Quoting a passage from her late husband's writing, Coretta Scott King
    reaffirmed her stance on gay and lesbian rights Tuesday at a luncheon
    celebrating the 25 anniversary of the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national gay rights organization. "We are all tied together in a single garment of destiny . . . I can never be what I ought to be until you are allowed to be what you ought to be," she said, quoting her husband. "I've always felt that homophobic attitudes and policies were unjust and unworthy of a free society and must be opposed by all Americans who believe in democracy," King told 600 people at the Palmer House Hilton, days before the 30th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination on April 4, 1968. She said the civil rights movement "thrives on unity and inclusion, not division and exclusion." Her husband's struggle parallels that of the gay rights movement, she said. - Chicago Sun Times, April 1, 1998, p.18.

    Mrs. King is Outspoken Supporter of Gay and Lesbian People

    "For many years now, I have been an outspoken supporter of civil and human rights for gay and lesbian people," King said at the 25th Anniversary Luncheon for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund.... "Gays and lesbians stood up for civil rights in Montgomery, Selma, in Albany, Ga. and St. Augustine, Fla., and many other campaigns of the Civil Rights Movement," she said. "Many of these courageous men and women were fighting for my freedom at a time when they could find few voices for their own, and I salute their contributions." - Chicago Tribune, April 1, 1998, sec.2, p.4.

    Sexual Orientation is a Fundamental Human Rights

    We have a lot more work to do in our common struggle against bigotry and discrimination. I say “common struggle” because I believe very strongly that all forms of bigotry and discrimination are equally wrong and should be opposed by right-thinking Americans everywhere. Freedom from discrimination based on sexual orientation is surely a fundamental human right in any great democracy, as much as freedom from racial, religious, gender, or ethnic discrimination. - Coretta Scott King, remarks, Opening Plenary Session, 13th annual Creating Change conference of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Atlanta, Georgia, November 9, 2000.

    We Need a National Campaign Against Homophobia

    "We have to launch a national campaign against homophobia in the black community," said Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader. - Reuters, June 8, 2001.

    Justice is Indivisible

    For too long, our nation has tolerated the insidious form of discrimination against this group of Americans, who have worked as hard as any other group, paid their taxes like everyone else, and yet have been denied equal protection under the law.... I believe that freedom and justice cannot be parceled out in pieces to suit political convenience. My husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” On another occasion he said, “I have worked too long and hard against segregated public accommodations to end up segregating my moral concern. Justice is indivisible.” Like Martin, I don’t believe you can stand for freedom for one group of people and deny it to others. So I see this bill as a step forward for freedom and human rights in our country and a logical extension of the Bill of Rights and the civil rights reforms of the 1950’s and ‘60’s. The great promise of American democracy is that no group of people will be forced to suffer discrimination and injustice. - Coretta Scott King, remarks, press conference on the introduction of ENDA, Washington, DC, June 23, 1994.

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | May 2, 2008 1:55:34 PM

  3. "why are civil rights being hijacked to just apply to black people?"

    Ugh oh...somebody managed to get some of that double chocolate Hutherson fundie afterall. Better see a doctor immediately, MIKE, or the brain damage will be permanent.

    Seriously, MIKE, I'll tell you why blacks get the CIVIL RIGHTS.

    'Cause we got the cutest booties, MIKE. ALL RIGHT! DAMMIT! You ever see Omarion's?

    Posted by: Derrick from PHilly | May 2, 2008 2:01:23 PM

  4. I sent this e-mail to Ms. Dixon...

    Ms. Dixon,

    I am responding to your recent published comments about gays and lesbians, particularly your comment "As a Black woman ... 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. Daily thousands of homosexuals make a life decision to leave the gay lifestyle."

    I was raised a fundamental Christian, touting the beliefs you expressed in your article. And as such, I attempted every possible way to shed my homosexual orientation, because I accepted what was being taught to me – that being gay is morally wrong and a sin. I prayed daily for God to take away my desires, I threw myself into ministry, I forced heterosexual behaviors, I sought professional counseling services, I attended ex-gay seminars and programs... I even pushed myself into engagement with a woman, convinced that if I were being “obedient” to God, he would bless me by changing my orientation.

    But well into that engagement, I found myself miserable and on the brink of suicide. As much as I loved the woman I was trying to marry, I knew that I could not have the kind of intimate relationship that marriage entailed, or that she deserved. But I also knew that I couldn’t live alone the rest of my life – I had tried the ‘celibate minister’ approach before, and could not find happiness. Because of my orientation, I always found myself longing for the intimacy of relationship. I repeatedly found myself experiencing romantic feelings for the men with whom I served and worked.. In short, I couldn’t live as a straight man, and I believed I couldn’t live as a gay man. Something had to change.

    It literally came down to a life and death issue for me – I knew that I couldn’t be straight, but I also knew I would die if I continued to be alone and denying who I was. Accepting my orientation was the best thing that ever happened to me, in spite of having to break the news to my pastor father and fundamentalist family. Thankfully, I soon met the person who would become my partner. And my family have all come to see my happiness and the wonderful change in me, and they are very supportive. They have seen how I no longer have to be on anti-depressants just to be functional. They’ve seen how I’ve morphed into a stable, productive member of society. And they’ve rejoiced in my relationship bringing them adopted grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

    As for the passages of scripture that people continually point to as proof text for their feelings on homosexuality, I don’t have a clear-cut answer, except that the Bible isn’t quite as black-and-white as some suggest. If it were, there are a myriad of laws being enforced today: we could not eat ham (Lev. 11:8), we would have to put all adulterers to death (Lev. 20:10), women could not have sex with their husbands while on their period (Lev. 20:18), women would have to sit in their ‘tent’ once a month during their period (Lev 12), we would would not be allowed to eat shrimp or lobster (Lev. 11:12), interracial marriage would be illegal (Lev. & Num.), and divorce would not be allowed (Matt 5:32, Matt 19:9, Mark 10:11, etc..) [And incidentally, slavery would be openly accepted (Lev. 25:44, Col 3:22, etc.)]... And the list goes on. All of the infractions above are examples of people “violating God’s divine order,” as you put it. Based on your theories, would you suggest that these people also be denied equal civil rights? And really, should the government legislate based on obscure biblical laws (most of which we would all agree are no longer relevant)? Or should the U.S. — the melting pot of different cultures and religions — legislate based on current, applicable circumstances, with the understanding that we are “all created equal?”

    Your comments suggest that your current belief is that gay and lesbian people can wake up one day and choose not be gay. I would challenge you to ask yourself if you could wake up tomorrow and choose to be a lesbian. I would also encourage you to seek out some gays and lesbians in your neighborhood and meet with them to discuss this belief and others. I think you will find that each and every person you talk with will tell you, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they are incapable of changing their orientation, as was I. And as such, to be marginalized as unworthy of equal civil rights is as disturbing as you, or any other African-American, being denied equal rights because of your skin color. I’m sorry that you are offended by the similarities, Ms. Dixon. But sexual orientation is shed no more easily than skin color. And I hope that your time off from work will allow you to reach this truth.

    Posted by: Jon | May 2, 2008 2:41:20 PM

  5. Thanks, JON, your testamony was beautifully honest, and beautifully generous. I don't know if the (misogynistic slur) will appreciate your effort to educate her, but maybe. So, I'll say thanks to you.

    Also, thank you, Noah. I try to use humor and comic irony, but sometimes a serious message needs to be heard. Everytime a black homophobe opens their stupid mouth, somehow their racial status becomes part of the response given by many white gays. But why? Why can't you simply reprimand them for being a ignorant, idiotic, asshole homophobe. When white homophobes spew their garbage, you don't hear black Towleroad visitors mention the white homophobe's racial status.

    MIKEINSANJOSE sounded so serious and hurt, it was sad.

    "Why are CIVIL RIGHTS being hijacked just to apply to the blacks?"

    Oh, Mikey, I dunno...I dunno. Ask the spirit of Emmitt Till, MIKE.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 2, 2008 3:03:03 PM

  6. DC Guy,

    Everyone has the freedom of speech, but just because it's a freedom doesn't mean speech can't have consequences. You ABSOLUTELY can get fired for what you say, even at a public university, because what you say goes against university policy or hurts the school's reputation. She had the freedom to say it, but she doesn't have the freedom to keep her job if the University wants to sack her.

    Posted by: Ryan | May 2, 2008 3:11:38 PM

  7. Thanks for sharing that JON. Unlike calling her names, that actually might make her think twice about what she wrote.

    Posted by: Prince Charming | May 2, 2008 4:03:48 PM

  8. She says: God created human kind male and female

    Phew! A quick observation down my shirt leads me to suspect I'm of the human kind male species. I'm also gay. I'm also mostly content. I choose my own happiness. Beyond that . . . ??

    Posted by: aaronj | May 2, 2008 4:13:53 PM

  9. NOAH,

    yes, i have seen those obscene photos. and they have made me weep. have you seen the ones with mexicans also twisting in the wind, or those with bullet holes in their backs thanks to the much-lauded texas rangers, and white greed and "racism" in the southwest? do you know that "strange fruit" was written by a jew? it is time to stop and think.

    i agree with what you say. i've been called a mexican by a black, gay guy in san antonio and by a white, gay guy in dallas. the (in their minds, negative)epithet "mexican" apparently was meant to subsume me, as if by my ethnicity i was less than they. the origin of one's ethnicity (we now know that their is no race other than the human one) has nothing to do with that person's mind or heart.

    yes, bigotry knows no bounds. what was your larger point to me? am i missing something?

    Posted by: nic | May 2, 2008 4:25:50 PM

  10. While her vile, ignorant comments should be disavowed, some of the vile remarks here towards blacks shows, quite a few gay men here need to learn the same tolerance that this chick needs to. And, sad that hardly anyone ever calls out the bigots and in your face racists who abound here.

    Posted by: Shawn | May 2, 2008 4:32:54 PM

  11. I think the fact that she begins her marks with "As a Black woman" makes people more likely to discuss her race than they would be otherwise. Also, she claims that gays, unlike blacks, have no legitimate claim to civil rights because they choose to be gay. This is exactly the point of view that Barack Obama put on stage with Donnie McClurkin. It is the point of view that caused the black caucus of the DNC to block efforts to recruit more gay and lesbian delegates.

    Certainly, there is racism in the gay community, and that is bad. However, mainstream gay voices are not actively fighting against equality for black people or any other race. That being the case, it is completely irrelevant to compare gay racism to black homophobia.

    Posted by: Landon Bryca | May 2, 2008 5:16:19 PM

  12. LANDON,

    you can warm my cockles any old time.

    Posted by: nic | May 2, 2008 5:49:03 PM

  13. So, let's say homosexuality is a choice. Why exactly should someone be discriminated against for making such a choice? Because some god says so? Grow up, this is not Iran. Or is it?

    Posted by: borut | May 2, 2008 6:18:14 PM

  14. Clearly, religious brain washing extends well beyond the lunatic fringe and this ignorant woman is the proof...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | May 2, 2008 6:26:35 PM

  15. By her logic, rape victims are also violating God's divine order by not marrying their rapists (Deuteronomy 22:28-29). How dare they!

    Posted by: DCN | May 2, 2008 8:25:03 PM

  16. Derrick in Philly~~

    Omarion...? Is that Omarosa's brother?

    I chose my previous phrase very specifically, because I've heard many folks say that christianity has been hijacked by fundamentalists. I thought it fit because this woman is definitely a little extreme. T'was not my intent to be racist or insulting. I would have said it whatever race she was. My point is that any time there is a public discussion of civil rights there is always a subtext that we're discussing civil rights as applied to Black Americans, rather than civil rights as applied across the various segments of society.

    You took the time twice to take a shot at my question without really addressing the question or trying to answer it. I thought that was a Fox tactic... rather than answer a serious question because we're uncomfortable with what the answer might be, let's just insult or ridicule the person who asked the question.

    I believe we can all agree that we all have civil rights simply by virtue of being alive and part of a civilization, a society. Sadly it takes laws to ensure that those civil rights are applied fairly to everyone, and not just the rich or ruling class.

    It was Ms. Dixon who said, "As a Black woman ... I take great umbrage at the notion that those choosing the homosexual lifestyle are civil rights victims." I can only imagine (I wouldn't DARE to assume) that she is tying this in to the history of the struggle for civil rights during the 50's, 60's, and 70's on up through today.

    She implies that the choosing aspect is what she has a problem with. That we should all just not be gay anymore and she would shut her pie hole and go away. So if given the option, is she saying she would choose not to be black? That she would just change color and walk away from a challenging life because others aren't treating her fairly, don't want to just leave her alone and let her live her own life like everyone else gets to live their own lives? I don't know about you, but I don't recall making a choice to be sexually attracted to men, I just make the choice to act on it. And I'm not gonna play straight to make Ms. Dixon feel better about herself.

    So this woman says, in effect, that 'civil rights' belongs to blacks and don't apply to gays. She's saying gays aren't civil rights victims, so they don't face housing discrimination, they can't be fired for being gay, no one ever assaulted or killed a person simply for being, or appearing to be, gay. Granted, the difference in scope is massive, but fundamentally there's not a lot of difference.

    I'm sorry if I asked it wrong the first time, but my question stands... How does that make sense to anyone, and how is it okay?


    Posted by: MikeInSanJose | May 2, 2008 8:37:54 PM

  17. I wrote to the president of the university and actually got a response.

    Here's the link he sent me.

    Seems there's hope in OH after all.


    Posted by: Red | May 5, 2008 9:13:40 AM

  18. LANDON,

    Black gay people may have a very view of the actions (or inaction) of "mainstream gay voices" than you do. Not so much that they are active racist, but that they are compliant in racist behavior by some white gays (especially white gay bar owners), and do nothing about racial discrimination within gay communities dominated by white gays.

    Also, the incendiary racial comments made in response to the anti-gay statements by black homophobes happens even when the black homophobe does not compare the two civil rights movements. The racist comments come even when the black homophobe hasn't singled out "white gays". The attitude "you blacks ought to know better" comes up every time Andy gives us a thread on some idiot black homophobe's statements or actions. To many black gays, it isn't so much that white gays really believe that one oppressed minority should be sensitive to the plight of another; it's more a case of many white gays infuriated that a black person has the audacity to insult their sense of white priviledge..."how dare that nigger call me a faggot."

    The irony is that when a black homophobe says, "I hate faggots", it's not you white gays he/she is referring to, it's me.


    Thanks for taking the time to respond. I apologize for my "smart ass" response to your original statement, but the way your comment was worded kinda' disturbed me. I couldn't help but think, "oh, here we go again" --after I made what I thought was a premptive strike against the usual racist posters who pop up whenever we have a thread that may involve the issue of race. I now see that you aint no racist, MIKE.

    Oh, MIKE, to answer your question:

    two different civil rights movements with different with two different types of oppression (only the murder & lynching gays suffer are similar to the murder & lynchings of blacks). Unfortunately, most blacks (like most whites) believe that homosexuality is a choice; therefore, our oppression is our own choosing.

    We got dumb people in both races, don't we, MIKE.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 5, 2008 10:29:53 AM

  19. "black gay people have a very DIFFERENT view..."

    This black people needs to learn to proof read. Sorry.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 5, 2008 10:33:36 AM

  20. Derrick:

    Yes, it's clear that many black gay people, like those who often post here, are offended when it is pointed out that homophobia in the black community is a problem for all of us, not just black gays. The idea that I am offended by people like Ms. Dixon, not because she speaks for a potent force in society which is working to oppress me, but because she disturbs my view of white entitlement is, well, racist.

    Gays are not fighting for the political oppression of blacks; many blacks, like Ms. Dixon are fighting hard to keep us as far from equal rights as possible. I agree that many gays are too tolerant of other forms of bigotry, but it is unjust to compare this negligence with deliberate oppression

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | May 5, 2008 12:54:46 PM

  21. LANDON,

    it is absolutely appropriate for white gays to criticize black homophobes. It's when that criticism appears to be a criticism of black people period. This happens so often that many black gays can't help but believe that white gays hold out special criticism for blacks who make anti-gay statements. Your fuses seem quite short when it comes to anti-gay blacks, and the shelf life of your resentment is very long.

    LANDON, the Reverend Hagee did not get anywhere near the attention on this blog as Donnie McClurkin, and the racial remarks appeared also. How the hell can Donnie McClurkin's stupid anti-gay remarks reflect on his race? But for many white gays, it did.

    Racist? It means you actually believe other races to be inferior to yours, right? I don't know if I or my views can be racist, LANDON. Prejudiced or bigoted? It's possible on some subjects...but sometimes it's a simple matter of group-defense--something that both blacks and gays have a right to do.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 5, 2008 3:24:12 PM

  22. Derrick, you must be kidding with your statement "you don't hear black Towleroad visitors mention the white homophobe's racial status." Only ALL THE TIME! How many postings have included the words "racist" or "typical white . . ." when referring to another poster?
    And yes, Derrick, black people and their views can be racist (and bigoted and prejudiced). No one has a "right" to be any of those three and it is a huge part of the problem that you think blacks and gays do. FYI: We don't.

    Posted by: shane | May 6, 2008 7:54:58 AM

  23. SHANE:

    I was talking about white homophobes that make the news, those whose anti-gay behavior Andy presents as a topic of discussion. I wasn't talking about how we TOWLEROAD posters interact with each other--BUT it's an interesting point.

    Again, a racist believes that his/her race is superior. The racist usually has social, economic, political, policing power--and has had these advantages for many years.

    Once I tried to use a reverse racial attack on a white homophobe. It was Mitt Romney. I said,"Mormons ought to know what it feels like to be a minority and yet they still oppress gay people...they complain about what they've been through, and then they turn on others" I used all the usual complaints white gays have about blacks. Well, I think most Towleroadies understood what I was doing, but then one bright soul wrote in, "Oh, Derrick, shut up. You're just as bigoted as the Mormons." Well.....

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 6, 2008 10:07:20 AM

  24. Ms. Dixon has been fired. REJOICE!;jsessionid=849EB9E56B34C3AFA4D8FFF59A68AACE?diaryId=5329

    Posted by: John in Manhattan | May 12, 2008 9:37:35 AM



    Posted by: RJP3 | May 12, 2008 7:25:41 PM

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