LMU Reinstates Employee Accused of ‘Hate Crime’ for Defending Church Teaching
After being suspended from her job following student accusations she committed a “hate crime,” an employee of the Jesuit-run Loyola Marymount University (LMU) in Los Angeles has been reinstated, her attorneys announced this week.
The supposed “hate crime” in question involved a calm and reasoned defense of Church teaching on human sexuality by the employee in a conversation with students on campus during “Rainbow Week” — a celebration of the “LGBT community” sponsored by the University’s LGBT Student Services Office.
Gigi Kurz, a 15-year employee of LMU who works in the alumni office, enlisted the help of the Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) after being suspended by administrators. “We are proud to announce that LMU has restored Gigi Kurz to her position without any loss of pay or benefits,” FCDF announced in an email this week. Kurz’s name had previously been withheld in all reports about her conflict with the University.
Charles LiMandri, FCDF’s president and chief counsel, told The Cardinal Newman Society that LMU’s final report on its investigation leading to Kurz’s reinstatement was confidential. But he noted there was no apology made to Kurz from the University, “although there should have been.”
“I was terrified when I was suspended from my job of 15 years for having a simple, but straight forward, adult conversation with LGBT college students,” Kurz said in a letter released by FCDF. “I was accused of a hate crime the next morning in the campus newspaper, because I did not agree with the LGBT on transgenderism, and for sharing Catholic morality on the subject.
“I felt I was thrown in the twilight zone,” she continued, “where I couldn’t find reality anymore. This was at LMU, a Catholic university, and yet the school immediately isolated me and sent me home and cut me off from my co-workers of 15 years.”
While she was the one under investigation for some apparent wrongdoing, Kurz said, “LMU was the one violating their own policies” and “promoting anti-Catholicism.”
The ordeal for Kurz began last April. While walking through campus, she saw students holding signs expressing support for being “pansexual” and stopped to talk to them. Kurz said the signs were “very offensive to me as a Catholic working on a Catholic campus” and were “very anti-Catholic.” “Every time I walked by them I experienced great sorrow and an aching pain within the very depths of [my] soul. My conscience was telling me this is not right.”
About her encounter with the students, Kurz stated:
At no time was any one of us hostile to each other. The dialogue never got heated or out of control. No one asked to stop or indicated they were being “hated” on or hurt. The girls engaged me in the dialogue, I answered their questions, and gave my opinion and they gave me theirs.
But one of the students later complained in the campus newspaper that Kurz “voiced opinions on differing sexualities, expressing that anti-LGBTQ+ signs should be put up in place of the students’ signs. The employee also referred to one of the students as a man, even though that student had informed the employee that they identify as gender neutral.”
“[T]his lady told me that I was wrong and unnatural. That shook me to my core,” said the student.
The same student told The College Fix that Kurz said in their conversation that human beings are only created male and female. That statement was a “hate crime” according to the student because Kurz was “denying transgenderism.”
Following the student accusations, some 20 LMU faculty members joined students for “a silent protest on the University Hall pedestrian bridge to stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ members and other marginalized groups on campus,” according to the campus newspaper. “Specifically, the protest addressed the alleged discriminatory act against several LGBTQ+ members by an Alumni Relations employee that occurred last Thursday.”
Kurz was telling the students the truth, and communicating the Truth of the faith, but in so doing she hurt the students’ feelings. So she was attacked.
As a Catholic university — and as an institution of higher learning — LMU should be focused on the pursuit of truth and communicating truth to its students. If that were the case, perhaps that student would never have been standing there claiming not to have a gender.
Rather than take this situation as an opportunity to show its commitment to truth, to the Catholic faith and for the spiritual welfare of students, LMU went after Kurz and left the students to suffer in their ignorance.
LMU’s LGBT Student Services Office even piled on in accusing Kurz of a “hate crime” in a Facebook post. The Office shared a flyer on Facebook with the comment: “Come to our COMMUNITY DISCUSSION on MONDAY @ 6-8 PM in response to the LGBT Hate Crime that happened on LMU’s campus#WeAreLions #ProtectYourPride Please spread this too!”
The flyer advertised a “Workshop on the Harmful Impacts of Offensive Language” and discussions on how to “Learn to be More Inclusive,” “Learn to Intervene and How to be an Ally,” and “Learn Resources and Ways to Report Incidents.”
There was no discussion advertised on what the Church teaches regarding gender, same-sex attraction and sexual activity.
In fact, since the earliest posts on the page going back to November 2015, not once has the LGBT Student Services Office posted anything on its Facebook page emphasizing Church teaching on human sexuality and marriage. Many of the posts on the page are actually in support of same-sex marriage, same-sex behavior and gender ideology.
Students who are afflicted with same-sex attraction and gender identity confusion should be able to find help and support at any Catholic college. But the resources and counseling that are offered must lead students to the Truth in Christ if they are to be of any real value. Departments and programs that cause students to embrace gender ideology and accept same-sex activity betray the mission of Catholic colleges and ultimately bring harm to the students.