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Mich. Officials Defend Antigay Hire

Mich. Officials Defend Antigay Hire


City and county officials in Jackson, Mich., defended their decision to hire Crystal Dixon, a human resources director fired from her previous job for publishing a column asserting her belief that gay rights are not civil rights.

According to the Jackson Citizen Patriot, officials have received hundreds of e-mail messages, most from outside Jackson, about Dixon, who will begin overseeing a merged city and county human resources department April 24.

"Dixon was fired from her position as the University of Toledo's associate vice president for human resources in 2008 after writing a letter about her stance on gay rights to the Toledo Free Press," reports the Citizen Patriot. "In it she argued gay and lesbian individuals are not civil rights victims because they have the ability to choose a homosexual lifestyle."

The hire has sparked a debate between organizations including Equality Michigan, which wants officials to rescind the job offer, and the American Family Association, which supports Dixon.

Jackson mayor Karen Dunigan, who did not sit on the six-member panel that selected Dixon, said she trusted the hiring decision. According to the Citizen Patriot, the interview panel included city manager Warren Renando, interim personnel director Frank Weathers, city clerk Lynn Fessel, county undersheriff Tom Finco, district court administrator Tamara Bates, and interim county administrator Adam Brown.

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