Teacher sues Lamar University for ‘forcing’ her to attend a gay show

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A theatre and dance teacher in Texas has filed a law-suit on Lamar University, claiming that the college disciminated against her on grounds of religion, when she failed to attend a gay show.

The teacher, whose name is Linda Ozmun, has also sued Judith Sebesta, chair of the Department of Theater and Dance, in Jefferson County District Court.

According to the affadavit, the department sought to bring in Tim Miller, an artist who campaigns for gay marriage, to perform a gay-themed show. But, in response to several complaints, the show was cancelled, retaliating against which several students organised a show called “Coming Out Collective.” Ms Ozmun refused to attend the latter.

During her annual review, Sebesta included her failure to attend the event as a negative point in her evaluation, and gave her an “unacceptable” grade. Her grievances, according to the suit, went unheeded. When later in 2011 Mr Miller was brought back to perform his piece, ‘Glory Box’, accompanied by a workshop, Ms Ozmun asked to be excused on religious grounds, but was allegedly threatened with disciplinary action if she failed to attend.

At the time of writing, there is no official comment from the University, or the defendants.