Allen Josephson, fired for expressing an opinion
They’re coming for you next: After publicly expressing his professional opinion at a 2017 Heritage Foundation conference, where he opposed the abuse of children by the queer movement that now dominates the medical community, Professor Allen Josephson was fired by University of Louisville, specifically because queer activists at the university demanded it.
From Josephson’s lawsuit [pdf], filed by the Alliance Defending Freedom:
[T]he officials at the University’s LGBT Center who became aware of and troubled at Dr. Josephson’s Heritage Foundation presentation included Ms. Stacie Steinbock (the director of the LGBT Center at the University’s Health Science Center) and Mr. Brian W. Buford (then the Executive Director of the LGBT Center). Ms. Steinbock and Mr. Buford opposed and objected to the viewpoints Dr. Josephson expressed at the Heritage Foundation.
…Ms. Steinbock and Mr. Buford (or other officials at the LGBT Center acting at their direction) contacted Dr. Christine Brady (an assistant professor in the Division) regarding Dr. Josephson’s Heritage Foundation presentation. Like Ms. Steinbock and Mr. Buford, Dr. Brady opposed and objected to the viewpoints Dr. Josephson expressed at the Heritage Foundation.
Upon information and belief, Ms. Steinbock and Mr. Buford (or other officials at the LGBT Center acting at their direction) discussed with Dr. Brady the need to ensure that some disciplinary or punitive actions were taken against Dr. Josephson due to the views he expressed at the Heritage Foundation. Ms. Steinbock and Mr. Buford (or other officials at the LGBT Center acting at their direction) repeatedly asked Dr. Brady what would be done about Dr. Josephson’s Heritage Foundation remarks. [emphasis mine]
The highlighted words illustrate the storm-trooper attitude of these queer activists. Steinbock and Buford certainly have the right to disagree with Josephson about the use of “gender transition” surgeries on young children, where they are castrated or mutilated, but that disagreement should be expressed in debate, not by an effort to blacklist and destroy. Josephson had expressed his opinions at an outside conference, and had made it clear he was speaking as an individual, not as a representative of the university. Steinbock and Buford had every opportunity to organize their own public forum to express their own viewpoints. They even could have invited Josephson for a face-to-face discussion.
Instead, they responded with blacklisting and censorship, showing us immediately their totalitarian nature.
Officials at the university then responded in the worst possible way. Instead of defending Josephson’s right to free expression, an ideal that should be fundamental to every university official, they chose blacklisting and censorship also. First they demoted him, removing him as head of its Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology, a program he had run successfully since 2003. Next, after restricting his teaching to secondary positions for a year, they canceled his contract, essentially firing him.
Josephson’s lawsuit demands his job back, a clearing of his record, and nominal, compensatory, and punitive damages for the violation of his rights under the First and Fourteenth amendments to the Constitution. That lawsuit continues to move forward, despite the university’s effort to stop it.
One detail about the lawsuit is intriguing: Though it is the university fighting the lawsuit, the suit itself does not name the university itself as a defendant. Instead it names the university employees who took the actions to blackball Josephson, many of whom no longer work at the university or in the same division. Why they left is not known, but one wonders if their totalitarian behavior backfired on them, and they were gently asked to leave.
Should Josephson win, the question will be: Who will pay? Will it be this public university, thus sticking the taxpayer with the cost while letting these intolerant thugs off the hook? Or will the court apply at least some of the damages to the actual individuals involved? If the latter, we will have a hope that this kind of ugliness will finally cease. Punishing these totalitarians will send a signal that others better think twice before they try to slander, censor, and blacklist others.
If the former however nothing will change, and the thugs and goons running our universities will continue their thuggish behavior, knowing full well they can get away with it.
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