- The Washington Times - Monday, July 25, 2016

A Loyola Marymount University employee has been fully reinstated without loss of pay, after the school suspended and investigated her for “denying transgenderism.”

Gigi Kurz, a 15-year employee who works in the university’s office of alumni relations, was accused of a “hate crime” last April when she disagreed with college students about Catholic teaching on sexuality and gender.

The incident occurred when Mrs. Kurz walked by students putting up a sign expressing support for those who identify as pansexual. She stopped to talk to the students. Both sides exchanged their opinions on the topic.

“At no time was any one of us hostile to each other,” Mrs. Kurz said in a statement, LifeSiteNews reported. “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 dialogue, I answered their questions, and gave my opinion, and they gave me theirs.”

But one of the students later complained to the campus newspaper that Mrs. Kurz had “referred to one of the students as a man, even though that student had informed the employee that they identify as gender neutral.”

That student later told the College Fix that Mrs. Kurz had espoused Catholic teaching that human beings are created as either male or female, which the student said constitutes a “hate crime” for “denying transgenderism.”

This prompted an outcry. Roughly 20 faculty members and 30 students held a silent protest on campus to “stand in solidarity with LGBTQ+ members and other marginalized groups on campus.”

Loyola Marymount suspended Mrs. Kurz pending an investigation from the university’s Bias Incident Response Team. It also called the Los Angeles Police Department to investigate the incident.

Mrs. Kurz retained Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund attorneys Paul Jonna and Charles LiMandri as counsel, who filed a counter-complaint with the university’s Bias Incident Response Team, alleging Mrs. Kurz had been targeted for her Catholic beliefs.

“My client … an employee of LMU, has been subjected to Anti-Catholic bigotry by having her religious beliefs as a devout Catholic repeatedly called ‘hateful,’ ” the complaint reads.

“This is not only false but defamatory and actionable,” it continues. “This also violates LMU’s professed Mission Statement as a Jesuit Catholic University, and contradicts the recent statements of Pope Francis, a Jesuit, that gender ideology is inconsistent with our Catholic faith and destructive to the dignity of the person.”

The university fully reinstated Mrs. Kurz earlier this month.

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