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To See or Not to See? Prof. Sues College Over Attending Gay Play

by Jason St. Amand
National News Editor
Sunday Apr 1, 2012
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A former theater professor is suing Lamar University after the school fired her for refusing to attend a performance by a gay artist, the Houston Press reported.

The college is in Beaumont, Texas, which is located on the plains of the Texas Golf Coast in the southeastern part of the state.

Linda Ozmun said that she could not see a production by Tim Miller because of her religious beliefs. According to the suit, Miller is described as "an openly homosexual man who advocates for normalizing homosexuality and homosexual marriage."

Miller was scheduled to perform at Lamar in 2010 and the suit calls his performance as "a one-man show...about his homosexual lifestyle using obscene language and sexual gestures." The school decided to cancel the event, however, after it received a number of complaints from the community. In its place, Lamar put on a show called "Coming Out Collective," which the suit says was "billed as a celebration of homosexuality."

Miller is a performance artist and writer who often uses gay themes in his work. He was one of the "National Endowment for the Arts Four" whose grants from the government were vetoed in 1990.

Ozmun refused to attend the show and the department chair gave her an "unacceptable" grade on her evaluation. Ozmun claims she filed a grievance but it was not addressed.

Miller came back to the school and put on a show called "Glory Box" and the professor once again refused to attend. The school soon let her go.

In late February the Associated Press reported that Villanova University also canceled his five-day workshop for students. He said the event would focus on "personal narrative and the students guide the direction they take but topics often include issues such as faith, sexuality, self and truth."

Comments

  • Zach , 2012-04-02 01:34:49

    It’s her choice whether to attend or not. We should respect her believes as we want her to respect mines. Firing wasn’t a wise decision.


  • Warren , 2012-04-02 07:31:28

    This is one if those situations where I don’t quite know how to feel. On one hand, it is her choice. But if it is somehow part of her job or in her contract, I can see why this would be a problem.


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-02 07:40:45

    This just sounds like an oxymoron, a homophobic theater professor....a THEATER professor.....against gays....obviously somebody chose the wrong profession!


  • Anonymous, 2012-04-02 08:41:03

    Was she actually fired for this. Or was it just one factor amongst several. I’m stunned that domeone working in the arts is incapable of being objective. There’s probably more to the story than what has been reported.


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