West Texas A&M University President Walter Wendler is being sued after he canceled a campus drag queen event, saying it degrades women.
“Forward-thinking women and men have worked together for nearly two centuries to eliminate sexism,” Wendler wrote to students when he canceled the event, according to local ABC News 13.
“Women have fought valiantly, seeking equality in the voting booth, marketplace and court of public opinion. No one should claim a right to contribute to women’s suffering via a slapstick sideshow that erodes the worth of women,” said Wendler.
The event was sponsored by the Trevor Project, which is ostensibly raising money to combat teen suicide in the gay community.
But critics contend that it’s just an LGBTQ lobbying group that exploits children.
The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) filed the suit on behalf of the student organization, Spectrum WT, claiming cancellation of the show is a violation of the First Amendment.
“FIRE’s lawsuit seeks to halt Wendler’s unlawful censorship, ensure the show will go on, and obtain damages for violating the students’ clearly established First Amendment rights,” said a statement by FIRE.
But Wendler previously said that his Christian faith takes priority over the secular ideology being pushed on college campuses as a replacement for religion.
“I am a Christian. I hold faith, founded on principles laid out in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, which I believe to be the inspired Word of God without equivocation, qualification or apology,” Wendler wrote in December in the Amarillo Globe-News.
He particularly objected to universities “running from ideas…while embracing ideology,” which he called “a fool’s errand.”
Critics of the West Texas university president said that artistic expression on campuses is clearly a First Amendment-protected activity.
But Wendler compared drag queen shows to “blackface” performances, which would hardly be allowed on university campuses.
In fact, last year, students at UC Berkeley tried to prohibit speakers from appearing on campus who simply support Israel’s fundamental right to exist.
“Should I let rest misogynistic behavior portraying women as objects?” asked Wendler in his letter to students canceling the drag event.
FIRE wants a federal District Court to intervene in an expedited fashion to allow the March 31 event to go on as originally planned, said local NBC News KXAN.
They are also asking for compensatory and other monetary damages, plus attorney’s fees.
West Texas A&M University is a public university in Canyon, Texas with an enrollment of around 9,600 undergraduate students.