U of I instructor sacked over alleged hate speech

Fri. July 9, 2010 5:32 PM by GoPride.com News Staff

Champaign, IL - The University of Illinois has fired an adjunct professor who taught courses on Catholicism after one of his students accused him of hate speech.

Ken Howell, who taught Introduction to Catholicism and Modern Catholic Thought, told students that he personally agrees with the Catholic Church's teaching that homosexual sex is immoral.

The professor tells The Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette he was fired at the end of the spring semester after sending an e-mail explaining some Catholic beliefs to his students preparing for an exam.

"Natural Moral Law says that Morality must be a response to REALITY," Howell wrote in the e-mail. "In other words, sexual acts are only appropriate for people who are complementary, not the same."

An unidentified student filed a complaint calling Howell's email hate speech.

Howell, who has been an adjunct lecturer at the University of Illinois for 9 years, calls the University's decision "an egregious violation of academic freedom."

A University spokesperson would not comment calling this a personnel issue.