Commentary: Censorship strikes at University of Toledo

This editorial appeared in The Tri-City Herald.

You don't have to agree with Crystal Dixon to know her rights have been violated.

And you don't need to be from Toledo to think the state university there has made a mistake that affects us all.

Last April, Dixon wrote a letter to the editor of the Toledo (Ohio) Free Press, expressing concerns about gay rights.

According to The Associated Press, she said gay rights can't be compared to civil rights because homosexuality is a choice.

That's right. A letter to the editor. Everybody does it. How can you get in trouble over something like that?

Well, at the University of Toledo you can lose your job. President Lloyd Jacobs fired the six-year administrator because he didn't like her viewpoint.

It's his right not to like her views, of course.

Lots of folks wouldn't, just as lots of folks did, judging by the flow of comments to the Free Press Web site.

Whether being gay is a choice still is debated by some.

Dixon was associate vice president for human resources at the state-financed school.

If the University of Toledo was a private school, a case might be made for firing someone for not following the policy line.

But for a public school, with a faculty and administration paid with tax dollars, to tell someone what she can and can't say on her own time is state censorship.

That's prohibited by the U.S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights. (It's the First Amendment, in fact.)

To read the complete editorial, visit The Tri-City Herald.