Student Sues, Says Prof Called Him a "Fascist Bastard"

Tuesday, Feb 17, 2009  |  Updated 8:58 AM PDT
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Professor Sued by Student Over Anti-Gay Marriage Speech

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Student Jonathan Lopez says a professor, John Matteson, called him a "fascist bastard" and refused to let him finish his speech against gay marriage during a public speaking class.

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Professor Sued by Student Over Anti-Gay Marriage Speech

A college student has filed a lawsuit saying a public speaking professor berated him in class for making a speech opposing same-sex marriage.
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A student is suing Los Angeles City College over an incident in which a professor refused to let him finish a speech against gay marriage, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Student Jonathan Lopez told the Times that the professor, John Matteson, called him a "fascist bastard" and refused to let him finish his speech during a public speaking class last November, weeks after California voters approved Proposition 8 banning gay marriage.

Lopez also said the teacher threatened to have him expelled when he complained to college authorities.

Lopez is represented by the Alliance Defense Fund, a Christian legal organization based in Scottsdale, Ariz., and co-founded by evangelical leader James Dobson of Focus on the Family. Alliance staff counsel David J. Hacker told The Times Lopez was a victim of religious discrimination.

"He was expressing his faith during an open-ended assignment, but when the professor disagreed with some minor things he mentioned, the professor shut him down," Hacker said. "Basically, colleges and universities should give Christian students the same rights to free expression as other students."

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