In September 2002, Martha Louise Piggee, who was then a part-time instructor of cosmetology at Carl Sandburg College, gave a gay student two religious pamphlets on the sinfulness of homosexuality. The student was offended and complained to college officials. After the college looked into the matter, it found that Piggee had sexually harassed the student. It admonished her in a letter to cease such behavior, and the following semester it chose not to retain her.
Thereafter, Piggee filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the college, the members of its board of trustees, and various college administrators (including one person who directed the mortuary science program, whose offense was to clean out Piggee’s refrigerator and throw away her noodles at some point during the spring of 2003) under 42 U.S.C. § 1983.
Question Presented: Can throwing away someone’s old noodles constitute a civil rights violation?
Answer: No, unless they’re cold sesame noodles. Those things are like crack!
It’s also worth noting that Ms. Piggee — no, we won’t make the Muppets joke — is an instructor in COSMETOLOGY. If she has something against gay people, she sure picked the wrong field.
More excerpts from this delightful opinion, after the jump.
From the statement of facts:
Ruel became aware that Piggee was a Christian and she realized that he was gay. On September 5, 2002, Piggee placed two pamphlets in Ruel’s smock during clinical instruction time, as he was preparing to leave for the day. She told him to read the materials later and invited him to discuss them with her.
The next day, Ruel glanced at the pamphlets, both of which used a comic-book format. The first was entitled “Sin City.” It tells the story of a man who tries to persuade gay pride advocates that homosexuality is an abomination. He is beaten when he tries to stop a gay pride parade; he is arrested by the police; a demon urges on a minister who preaches that God loves even gay people; the man then asks about Sodom and Gomorrah; and eventually the minister repents his sin (which apparently is supporting gay pride).
The second pamphlet was entitled “Doom Town.” Its message is similar. It begins by showing a group of homosexuals headed by a speaker, who states that a certain number of children will wind up homosexual. She threatens that all gay males will pollute the blood supply with HIV-positive blood unless people give more money for AIDS research. A Christian observing this recounts the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. One scene implies that an evil man is about to assault a frightened boy sexually; another indicates that some angels being sheltered by Lot are about to be raped. God, however, intervenes, stops the mob, and destroys the two sinful cities.
God also destroys the Parsons School of Design and several large warehouses full of Abercrombie & Fitch catalogs.
OY. Where do you dig this stuff up?
And check out what some of Piggee’s students had to say about her in their evaluations:
“Mrs. Piggee is a great teacher, but I really do not appreciate religion being discussed in school. I do not believe the same way she does and don’t want to hear how my religion is inferior to hers.”
“Mrs. Piggee . . . told me that I was not saved & that I have the devil in me. She also told me that she was going to get that devil out of me. . . . I just wish that she will [sic] keep her religion out of school.”