Silenced For Speaking Against Gay Marriage, This College Student Is Suing


We’ve all heard stories or had personal experiences about being discriminated against for talking openly and supportively about gay marriage. Asked to the conversation elsewhere. Told to shut up. Pleaded with to just go away. But what if you’re a student on a university campus, trying to talk openly against gay marriage — and your professor cuts you off in class, refuses to hear your argument, and labels you a “facist bastard” in front of your peers. Well, this is America, so you sue.

In the federal court suit filed last week, student Jonathan Lopez said that midway through his speech [Los Angeles City College in November just after Prop 8 passed], when he quoted a dictionary definition of marriage and recited a pair of Bible verses, professor John Matteson cut him off and would not allow him to finish. He said Matteson also called him a “fascist bastard.”

A student evaluation form included with the lawsuit lacks a score for Lopez’s speech, and reads “ask God what your grade is.”

In a letter, Dean Allison Jones wrote that she had met with Lopez, considered his complaint “extremely serious in nature,” and had begun a disciplinary investigation. Jones said in the letter she could not elaborate because of concerns for Matteson’s privacy.

But Jones also wrote that two students were “deeply offended” by the speech, and quoted one as saying “this student should have to pay some price for preaching hate in the classroom.” [IHT]