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US science professor ‘told students homosexuality is a mental illness’

PinkNews Staff Writer February 10, 2010
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A health science professor at an American college allegedly used the Bible to teach his students ‘facts’ about homosexuality.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) says that at least two students at Fresno City College in California have complained over Professor Bradley Lopez’ methods.

According to the ACLU, Professor Lopez claimed in classes last year that homosexuality is a mental disorder, that it should be treated with therapy and hormone supplements and that the Bible is “empirical” evidence that life begins at conception.

Professor Lopez is also said to have claimed that abortion kills more people than cancer every year in the US and that the apocalypse is “the real global warming we should be worried about”.

One of those who took Professor Lopez’s class, 24-year-old Jacqui Mahaffey, said she felt “very let down” by Fresno City College, which is state-funded.

“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,” Ms Mahaffey said. “I am in school to learn, not to be indoctrinated with one professor’s religious views and anti-gay beliefs.”

Elizabeth Gill, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California, said: “The college class room of a state school should be a welcoming environment for all students, and courses, especially health courses, should be based on objective and medically accurate information, not religiously-based bias.

“While Professor Lopez is free to talk about his religious beliefs outside of the classroom, Fresno City College has an obligation to protect its students from religious indoctrination and anti-gay bias presented as ‘science’ or ‘fact.’ Professor Lopez’s health class fails students in both regards.”

The ACLU says that as the classes are being taught at a publicly funded college, Professor Lopez’s lectures violate federal and state constitutional protections guaranteeing the separation of church and state.

The organisation sent a letter to Fresno City College asking it to explain how it will deal with Professor Lopez’s alleged comments. It asked the school to reply by February 15th.

A statement given to Associated Press by the school read: “The college takes its non-discrimination and prohibition of harassment policies seriously, investigates alleged violations and takes appropriate actions to enforce compliance. Beyond that, we don’t comment on personnel matters for confidentiality reasons.”

Professor Lopez has not responded to requests for comment.

More: ACLU, american civil liberties union, Americas, California, civil liberties union, college, Fresno, Health, northern California

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