Anti-abortion exhibit as sexual harassment?
Chambers Jr, Henry L.
ChambersH at MISSOURI.EDU
Wed Mar 14 10:10:49 PST 2001
Before commenting on the interplay of Title VII and the First Amendment with
respect to the issue, one would need to know what the precise basis of the
sexual harassment claim is. We will need gender-based harassment that
yields the discriminatory provision of terms, conditions or privileges of
employment on the basis of sex for a viable Title VII claim. The assertions
of one person that a display is colloquially sexually harassing does not
make a situation a test case on Title VII harassment law.
Henry L. Chambers, Jr.
Associate Professor of Law
University of Missouri-Columbia
chambersh at missouri.edu
Glenn Reynolds wrote:
>Questions of appropriate force aside, this seems like an easy
>case. Indeed, I could hardly concoct a better fact situation if I were
>trying to set up a test case on Title VII harassment law as a First
responding to the following
> Ryan Pittman, "U. Texas President Criticized for Handling of Exhibit",
> Texan, Mar. 1, 2001 (available on LEXIS, University Wire):
> Complaints of police brutality and sexual harassment have been lodged
> against the University of Texas administration this week as a result of
> controversial decision to allow an anti-abortion exhibit to go up near the
> center of campus last week.
> Several members of the UT community have called upon UT President Larry
> Faulkner to publicly apologize for what they call "administrative
> mismanagement of the situation," with at least one faculty member
> pursuing legal action against the University.
> The exhibit, sponsored by the UT student group Justice For All: Students
> Bio-Ethical Justice in conjunction with the national Justice For All
> anti-abortion organization, included graphic images of aborted fetuses on
> three-sided, 18-foot high display located outside Gregory Gym.
. . .
> Among the dozens of other complaints lodged by students and faculty
> the administration is a claim by Yvette Rosser, doctoral candidate in the
> department of curriculum and instruction, that the administration is
> of sexual harassment by allowing the graphic display to produce a "hostile
> working and learning environment for women."
> "What was paraded as an issue of freedom of speech, masked in the rhetoric
> of the First Amendment, was without question a cruel and insensitive
> spectacle that could in fact be considered a case of preplanned,
> University-sponsored sexual harassment," Rosser wrote in a letter to
> Faulkner and several other administrators.
More information about the Conlawprof