Today in Call Me A Waaaah-mbulance News: Texas theater professor Linda Ozmun is suing her employer for citing her in an annual review for refusing to attend a gay-themed show performed by students back in 2010. Ozmun claims she refused to attend for religious reasons, but Lamar University wrote on her annual review in 2011 that not going to the students’ performance was “unacceptable.” Lamar also brought a performer to campus to perform a show and workshop dealing with subjects around homosexuality and Ozmun asked to be recused from attending; the school threatened her with disciplinary action if she did not go.
Now, I am all for religious freedom, as in the freedom to practice your religion without oppression. (See: Jews during the Holocaust; present-day China.) But since when is a theater performance oppressing anyone’s religion with its content? Theater is art; generally speaking, it is not meant to provide anything other than entertainment and perspective. And historically, the best theater has allowed individuals to explore a myriad of provocative topics and let viewers draw their own conclusions. Would this professor be equally disinclined to attend performances dealing with premarital sex, incest, murder, rape or stealing?
If so, perhaps the university should seek a better qualified professor, because Linda Ozmun must have never been exposed to some of the most noteworthy plays in theatre history written by, you know, Shakespeare. [Queerty]
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