The American Civil Liberties Union
(ACLU) has advised a public community college in California it must
end improper religious-based anti-gay instruction by a staff science
The civil rights group alleges that
Professor Dr. Bradley Lopez's introductory health class is more
preaching than teaching.
Lopez, who teaches at Fresno City
College (FCC), “presents religiously-based and anti-gay views as
'science' or 'fact',” the ACLU said in a statement.
Lopez is accused of giving lectures
where he taught that being gay is a “biological misapplication of
human sexuality” and said that the “recommended treatment” is
“psychological counseling” or “hormone supplements,”
presented gay men and lesbians as a threat to society, used Bible
passages as “empirical” evidence that life begins at conception,
and asserted that abortion is “the leading cause of death in this
Two students told the ACLU that their
complaints to administration officials were dismissed.
“I feel very let down by my school,”
said Jacqui Mahaffey, a 24-year-old student who took Lopez's class
and complained to officials.
“I signed up for health science
because I was interested in the subject, but what I got was hateful
lecturing based on Professor Lopez's personal beliefs. I am in
school to learn, not to be indoctrinated with one professor's
religious views and anti-gay beliefs.”
In a demand letter addressed to the
school's administration, the ACLU says “FCC must ensure that its
instruction does not inculcate sectarian doctrine in violation of the
federal and state constitutions” and that the school “can and
should mandate accurate and unbiased health instruction.”
The letter also says Lopez's free
speech rights do not extend to the classroom.
“To the contrary, as a tax-supported
entity, FCC must of course comply with state and federal law, which
prohibits religious indoctrination in public education.”
The ACLU has given the college until
February 15 to take action.