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February 17, 2009

Student Sues over Gay-Marriage Speech

A student in California is suing Los Angeles City College, saying his professor reacted inappropriately to his speech in class against same-sex marriage, Gale Holland writes for the Los Angeles Times.

Student Jonathan Lopez says his professor called him a "fascist bastard" and refused to let him finish his speech against same-sex marriage during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved the ban on such unions.

When Lopez tried to find out his mark for the speech, the professor, John Matteson, allegedly told him to "ask God what your grade is," the suit says.

Lopez is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, sued unsuccessfully to stop the release of the names and addresses of Proposition 8 donors, who said they had been harassed during the weeks of demonstrations after it passed.

Holland writes that the case tests the balance between free speech and offensive speech, and it's all part of "the emotional aftermath of Proposition 8."

Comments

if true, what a sad man this professor is.

In fact, the speech was not about marriage, as has been widely misreported. Jonathan attempted to deliver a speech on how God has changed his life through His Word. Marriage was only a peripheral issue.

The two "offending" Bible verses he recited were: Romans 10:9 and Matthew 22:37-38.

Of course neither verse has anything to do with marriage or sexual morality.

"tests the balance between free speech and offensive speech"? Wow, I didn't know calling a student a "fascist bastard" and denigrating a student's faith was protected under the First Amendment. What's that? The kid is the offensive one?

Seems that selective tolerance is still alive and well in the academia of our secular universities. I wonder if the Prof would have reacted in the same way if the student had been Muslim or Buddhist?

Christians don't turn the other cheek anymore - they sue. What an opportunity to manifest the love of God - missed in favor of adversarial legal action. Our whole orientation has been acculturated into a secular frame of mind.

The student's rights were clearly violated by the professor. I live about a 55 minute drive from where one of my ancestors fought in one of the battles of the American Revolution. I have other ancestors who were involved in that war. Freedom of religion is one of the issues and results of that war. What we are seeing today out of academia and other areas of the social spectrum, especially in the name of political correctness, is clearly intended to destroy that right (among others). I pray for a Third Great Awakening. If we do not have one, we will lose all our rights.

I love to see Christians standing up for themselves in the public forum. I usually see Christians settling to keep their beliefs in private for fear of someone being offended. While Christians should not be anti-gay people, it is within our rights to be anti-gay behaviour. Christians are against homosexuality as they are against any sexual immorality (such as pre-marital sex). We do not publicly descriminate against couples having pre-marital relations and we should not do this against homosexuals. We are, however, justified in voicing our oppinions against such behaviour. Good for this student! As long as his speech followed these guidelines, we should support him fully in this case.

I do support gay marriage as part of equal rights for all citizens. However, I also completely support this student's right to express his beliefs and opinions, whether in class or not. After all, universities - and schools of any type - are meant for learning. And how can people learn when debate and disagreement are cut off? This professor should NOT have let his personal beliefs get in the way of his duty to teach and to let students learn from their peers. Instead, what he really taught that day was that disagreements among intelligent people are not permitted, and that he neither believes in, nor wants his students to believe in a free-thinking society, which is crucial to a democracy such as ours.

I'm so glad to hear this professor took control of his classroom. As much as "christians" can think whatever they want to, the professor has a right to run his class as he pleases. This professor would no more allow me to give a speech about how all bigoted christians should be put to death than he would allow this little hitler in the making to make a bigoted speech advocating the prevention of gay men and women from exercising their RIGHT to marry.