DETROIT, November 26, 2003 ( – Detroit Federal Judge Gerald Rosen likened the censorship of a Christian student at Ann Arbor, Michigan Pioneer High School during its 2002 Diversity Week program to the censorship practiced by Nazi Germany. The judge’s comments were made during a scheduled hearing in a federal lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm, on behalf of student Betsy Hansen whose religious views against homosexuality were censored and excluded from the program.  According to the Detroit Free Press, during Monday’s hearing Judge Rosen asked the school’s attorney, “Isn’t this cultural hegemony, where you’re only going to present one view to the exclusion of others?” Don’t you think that smacks of government and religious totalitarianism?”“Isn’t that how we got to book burning in Nazi Germany back in the 1930’s,” asked Rosen.  During the 2002 Diversity Week program, Pioneer High School officials prevented Hansen from expressing her Roman Catholic view on homosexuality at the “Homosexuality and Religion” panel.  School officials claimed that Betsy’s religious view toward homosexuality was a “negative” message and would “water-down” the “positive” religious message that they wanted to convey-that homosexual behavior is not immoral or sinful.  Only religious leaders who endorsed the school’s pro-homosexual “religious” belief were allowed to sit on the panel.  School officials denied Hansen’s request to have a panel member who would express the Roman Catholic belief on homosexual activity.  School officials hand-picked the pro-homosexual panel members, selected the Gay Straight Alliance faculty advisor to act as “moderator,” prohibited “open” questions to panel members, and expressly prohibited the students from personally interacting with any panel member before, during, or after the panel discussion.  The federal civil rights lawsuit filed by the Thomas More Law Center alleges that school officials violated Hansen’s constitutional rights to freedom of speech, free exercise of religion, and the equal protection of the law. Moreover, the lawsuit alleges that school officials coerced students to accept the religious belief that homosexual activity is not immoral or sinful.  A ruling on this case is expected within the next few weeks.  See the Free Press coverage:


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