Catholic University Suspends Employee for ‘Denying Transgenderism’

News: Education
by Rodney Pelletier  •  •  May 2, 2016   

Police and school investigating incident as a hate crime

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LOS ANGELES ( - A Los Angeles Jesuit university has suspended an employee for telling students there are only two genders — male and female.

In April, Catholic Loyola Marymount University (LMU) allowed LGBT Student Services (LGBTSS) to hold LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, also known as Rainbow Week. Posters were put up throughout campus, but on April 14 three members of the club noted some were taken down and placed behind a garbage can. They retrieved the posters and put them back up, claiming an unnamed employee of the Alumni Relations office approached them and "replied hatefully."

The employee maintains she told the students she believes there are only two genders and that next year somebody should place posters up that explain the Catholic understanding of marriage and sex. She said the conversation was civil, and she welcomed the student to come to her office if they want to talk about it again. They all shook hands and expressed how happy they were to have the opportunity to "dialog."

The student, however, complained and both the police and the campus Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) are investigating the incident as a hate crime. The employee, an unnamed woman who has been employed at LMU for 15 years, was suspended without an inquiry by university authorities. She confronted her supervisor but was sent home pending the outcome of the BIRT and police investigation.

Her husband posted a response to the suspension maintaining witnesses to the conversation noted the exchange was civil and no unpleasantries were exchanged. He also noted that neither his wife nor were any witnesses interviewed by school authorities before his wife was fired.

The student-run LMU news service, the Los Angeles Loyolan, wrote a story portraying the account as told by the three LGBTSS members. The employee's husband noted his wife tried to give her side of the story to staff members of the Loyolan, but they refused to speak to her.

The employee's husband, however, noted his wife "is Catholic and a strong supporter of the Church, marriage and family, and Catholic morality." The Loyolan notes the employee's strong traditional Catholic view itself as a "hate crime" because it "disrespect[ed] someone else's existence."

The Loyolan posted a statement from the LGBT+ Student Alliance, claiming the students were "verbally assaulted" by the employee.

Despite the existence of the LGBT student club, the LGBT+ Student Alliance alleges LMU has a history of disregarding "LGBTQ+ hate." It cites an incident in February when a theology professor made a joke about Bruce Jenner. It claims a transgender student in the class "was made to feel unsafe."

The Loyolan noted there was also tying the event to one held a week previous at a campus art exhibit called NO Human Being is Illegal, where they claim three "Trump supporters" vandalized the exhibit to "silence and intimidate" fellow students.

The document concludes that the result of "failed" policies by LMU staff have led to LGBT+ students being "mostly scattered and isolated, afraid to come out, and now made to feel unsafe."

The employee believes she is being unfairly portrayed by the Loyolan and by the University. She is in the process of seeking legal counsel. Her husband remarked, "This is a proof that silence in the creeping face of evil is imprisoning all of us. The Truth is being extinguished. It's our fault in our false tolerance of evil, and this is evil!"


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