The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) accused a professor in California of presenting religious views about homosexuality and abortion in an introductory health class.
Bradley Lopez, a Fresno City College instructor, is accused of telling students homosexuality is a “biological misapplication of human sexuality” that can be treated with counseling or hormone supplements, and for citing the Bible as evidence that life begins at conception to support his argument that abortion is murder. Brad Dacus, president of Pacific Justice Institute (PJI), believes professors should have a degree of academic freedom.
“In no way was this professor harassing any students there in the class, [nor] was he badmouthing any students in the class — and consequently there’s really no reason why this professor should be ostracized,” Dacus contends. “In fact, the subject matter he was…discussing was subject matter directly relevant to his course and the topic of his course.”
The PJI president further argues that college campuses are supposed to be a forum for the free exchange of ideas. “That is what college life is all about,” ihe attorney notes. “You can’t just have ideas on campus that only favor the ACLU’s perspective. That is outrageous hypocrisy, and that is why this professor should prevail.”
School officials have said they have an obligation to protect students from what an ACLU attorney describes as “religious indoctrination and anti-gay bias.” The ACLU sent a letter to college administrators requesting an explanation of how they plan to address the problem.
After reviewing the complaint, Fresno CIty College said its teacher ran afoul of campus regulations prohibiting religious indoctrination “by assigning readings from the Bible, reading the Bible in class, and otherwise relying on the Bible as an authority in the assigned subject matter.”
Fresno City College Vice President Christopher Villa reported the findings in a letter to three students who lodged complaints against health sciences instructor Bradley Lopez. The students said Lopez quoted the Bible as proof that human life begins at conception, assigned his class to research the Bible for Jesus’ genetic makeup, and discussed apocalyptic Bible prophecies during a lesson on climate change.
Villa said Lopez also violated a campus anti-discrimination policy when he told students that homosexuality is a mental disorder that should be treated with psychotherapy.
Lopez’s lawyer, Charles Magill, said only one of the three complaining students was enrolled in Lopez’s class and she had misinterpreted his remarks.