Supreme Court Lets Stand Firing of University HR Administrator Who Said Gays ‘Violate God’s Divine Order’

Back in 2008, Andy posted about Crystal Dixon, the then University of Toledo associate vice president of human resources who was fired after writing an article in the Toledo Free Press in which she said gays "violate God's divine order," and later told reporters at her church that she had a divine mandate to write the column.

DixonSaid Dixon, in part, "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."

Dixon filed suit as a result of the firing, saying the administrators violated her First Amendment rights by retaliating against her for her speech and also violated her 14th Amendment right to equal protection under the law. Late last year, a federal appeals court upheld her firing, saying that her column "contradicted the very policies she was charged with creating, promoting, and enforcing," and cannot be excused as merely a statement of her own views as a private citizen.

Now, on the first day of its 2014 term, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand the appeals court ruling, meaning that Dixon's accusation that the university violated her constitutional rights appears unwarranted. 

Comments

  1. Jerry says

    Smackdown! Let this serve as a warning to anyone with similar ideas and attitude that they will be dealt with, especially if they are operating and discriminating under color of authority.

  2. xael says

    When ever i hear this kind of people saying things like ‘divine mandate’ all i can think about is
    GOD LOVES UGANDA!
    Why do they not have a divine mandate to be loving caring and humane, instead of so misleading with their false god loving message

  3. Ron says

    As an out and proud black, gay man, I took great umbrage to her ignorant, bigoted notions that I chose a “gay lifestyle,” whatever that is, or that gay rights aren’t civil rights. She truly needs a history lesson, which hopefully she’ll have plenty of time for now that she lost her case. Good riddance!

  4. Ron says

    As an out and proud black, gay man, I took great umbrage to her ignorant, bigoted notions that I chose a “gay lifestyle,” whatever that is, or that gay rights aren’t civil rights. She truly needs a history lesson, which hopefully she’ll have plenty of time for now that she lost her case. Good riddance!

  5. Onnyjay says

    What pack of crazies twisted her mind enough to make such a fool of herself publicly? Guessing at least one of them was called Bishop. She can move to Flarda and work for Hail Mary U.

  6. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Every time this SCOTUS does something right, I’m shocked — and that’s two more right things in just a couple of days (this and the VA sodomy case).

    Maybe the lunatic moron Republican crazies aren’t as in charge of the Court as they wish they were?

  7. Michael Heynz says

    As a white gay man I’m shocked that someone who seems to be so smart is just working for the devil despite having been through the civil rights fight herself.
    Talk about not learning any lessons.
    Try googling 1500 animal species exhibit homosexuality, and learn something.
    Why would God create 1500 animals, who act purely on instinct and do not “choose” to go against their very nature, with natural homosexual tendencies? Everywhere you look there are gays. That’s because God created nature, while MAN wrote the lies in the Bible.

  8. Andrew82 says

    This is what happens when you choose an under qualified person to fill quotas in the name of diversity and political correctness.

    Now maybe this time, they’ll choose the *best person for the job.

  9. Mitch says

    Her rights to free speech were not violated – but with free speech comes consequences. She doesn’t seem to understand that.

    Now that she has more free time on her hands, she can write more editorials – and proudly display her bigotry and ignorance.

  10. Bill says

    Keep in mind that the outcome depends on what state you live in as some states provide higher levels of free-speech protection than the U.S. Constitution does. The Supreme Court ruling mentioned above applies to federal law, not state law.

    http://www.bbklaw.com/88E17A/assets/files/Documents/BBK-LE-Update2012-Retaliation-Materials.PDF has a description of some of the issues (this is specific to California):

    “Labor Code sections 1101 and 1102 protect employees from retaliation by their employer for engaging in political activity. Further, Labor Code section 96(k) protects employees from retaliation for engaging in lawful off-duty conduct.”

    and

    “The First Amendment and the California Constitution protect employees engaging in free speech or other activities from retaliation. Generally, public employers are prohibited from retaliating against employees for engaging in speech regarding matters of public concern. See Sowards v. Loudon County (6th Cir. 2000) 203
    F.3d 426.”

  11. says

    Would someone tell me what this “gay lifestyle ” is………
    I want to find it, try it and have a good time.
    Instead I’m working under pressure morning, noon and night…totally stressed, suffering insomnia and being pulled, professionally, to manage every crisis that comes up.
    God damn it……..where’s the effing ‘lifestyle’ ?

  12. Sam says

    This is not just a “gay” issue but a 1st Amendment issue. Yes, you do have “free speech” but that does not mean you are free from consequences for said speech.

    The Courts have long held that opinion.

  13. tinkerbelle says

    Oh the Moses syndrome! “Divine mandate” actually refers to a good night on the town with a hot guy, gay of course, otherwise the word “divine” would not apply. As far as gayness being a lifestyle “choice”, this wacko has obviously never spent a day as a gay man, she should try it some time and see how different it is from being any other kind of minority. Glad to see she got the slapback.

    Jackfkntwist — have you tried Qi Guong, or some other stress-relieving activity? I’m worried…

  14. pdaku says

    I never fail to be amazed at how people with such low levels of ignorance achieve high-level positions.

    On a related note, when Elton John referred to Liberace’s “lifestyle” at the Emmy Awards, I immediately turned off the program. Elton John and I do not live the same lifestyle. He could use some education on what the word lifestyle means.

  15. Jonathan says

    @bill the decision hinged on her ability to do the job she was hired to do in light of her expressed opinions. Since her expressed opinions expressly promoted the violation of the very policies her position was supposed to be enforcing, I doubt any state protections would have helped her. It would be the same if she had expressed the sentiment that Muslims cannot be educated and should not be admitted to University. As the diversity officer of her institution, she cannot hold that job and express opinions in direct contradiction of the portfolio she executes.

  16. RexT says

    The minute she, and her clan, utter the words, “Gay Lifestyle’ they disqualify themselves due to a complete lack of intelligence necessary for any meaningful job.

  17. Bill says

    @Jonathan: they may be able to get away with that in Florida, but probably not in California for the reasons I gave. To a much greater extent, the law in California limits the consequences of obnoxious free speech. They don’t have to invite you over for dinner, but they can’t fire you for expressing an opinion on your own time regarding (for example) political issues. BTW, that also means that a Mormon employer would not have been able to fire someone for helping in the effort to oppose Proposition Eight (an initiative placing a
    ban on same-sex marriages in the state constitution).

    The idea is simply that what you do on your own time is generally none of your employer’s business, and they want to encourage people to be engaged in the political process without being afraid of losing their jobs as a result.

  18. Excuse Me? says

    @Stephen – EXCUSE ME???? Now that Affirmative Action has been discontinued Latinos have cornered certain job markets and will only hire other LATINOS!!! So before you BASH Affirmative Action, perhaps you should see what not having it in place is doing to California!!! And she is right, there is NO comparison to being Black and being Gay. Gay Blacks still get discriminated against by both White and Hispanic Gays!!! You can’t speak on what you haven’t lived!!!

  19. Excuse Me? says

    @RON, please have a seat. I’m sure you lost your “black roots” years ago. I’m betting that you’ll shove any mans (other than a black mans) cock, down your throat and up your ass!!!

  20. says

    @Bill, she was doing more than engaging in the political process. She was using a public forum to denigrate a group of people she serves professionally and in direct contradiction to policies she was in charge of upholding in her job. I can’t imagine any employer thinking that was none of their business, and–in this case–it was also legally their business, as it should be. Someone with her job title should have known better, and now she does–or knows to choose a different career path.

  21. Rob says

    She likely wouldn’t have been asked to write if she were not in a position of authority. She was absolutely speaking in a professional capacity, and it would have been intimidating to gay students and faculty. Sayo-freankin-nara.

  22. says

    And now we are stuck with her here in Jackson, Michigan. Seems fitting as we are the birthplace of the Republican Party. She is now part of the HR department for our city.
    FML.

  23. Hagatha says

    Certain jobs, generally ones with some authority, come with the expressed or implied restriction that you will not do anything in public which would damage the public perception of your employer.

    The paycheck (as opposed to proprietary) executives of every corporation know this. If you work for Regal Cinemas, you can’t publish opinion pieces supporting segregation. If you work for McDonald’s, you can’t be publicly elected Imperial Wizard of the KKK. And if you are an executive at a university you can’t publicly come out against the values of that university. It’s simply the way it is.

  24. Bill says

    @Ernie: she was expressing an opinion, and the law in California probably covers what she did.
    It seems Florida law doesn’t, which is why she
    could be fired. It has nothing to do with whether you or I like what she wrote.

    As I pointed out (with a citation) “Labor Code sections 1101 and 1102 protect employees from retaliation by their employer for engaging in political activity. Further, Labor Code section 96(k) protects employees from retaliation for engaging in lawful off-duty conduct.”

    What she did was clearly lawful off-duty conduct. If she used her employer’s resources it would have been different, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    What the Supreme Court ruled was that federal law does not protect her. State laws can, and those vary from state to state. Her misfortune (from her standpoint) was due to working in Florida, a state that provides its citizens with fewer rights than California does.

  25. says

    @Bill, she wasn’t in Florida, she was in Ohio. So neither Florida nor California law is of relevance here. Nor is my personal opinion of her relevant. She was fired because, due to her inappropriate actions in a public forum, she proved herself incapable of carrying out her designated professional duties. She not only expressed a political opinion; she expressed an opinion on policies she was in charge of carrying out.

  26. Kris Townsend says

    She may have lost her court case and her job in Toledo, but Miss Dixon is happily employed and generously compensated as the Director of Human Resources for both Jackson County, Michigan and the City of Jackson, Michigan.

  27. Tim says

    Thank you to the brave people who got her fired: it could not have been easy to get a minority senior HR administrator out, no matter how badly she deserved it.

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