Ben Gurion University has fired a professor for stating his opinion that the development of children raised by homosexual parents could be harmed, and that sexual inclinations can be restrained and chosen.
The firing of Prof. Yeruham Levitt by the university has caused much outrage among the academic staff. The sole course he was giving is on medical ethics for pharmacological students. Several weeks ago, the topic was fertilization methods for homosexual couples, and a female student noted her concern that for the development of children raised by homosexual parents. Another student, a declared homosexual himself, objected, at which point, Prof. Levitt intervened and vindicated the first student’s concerns. He affirmed the chance of harm to the development of such children and that their ability to lead a normal family life could be affected. He added that sexual inclinations can be restrained and chosen.
When some students complained to the University administration, he was summoned to a hearing, where he explained that it is acceptable for a lecturer to express his opinion in classes on ethics.
Despite this, the head of the School of Pharmacology at Ben Gurion, Prof. Riad Agbariya, decided to fire him.
The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel promptly protested, noting that just a few weeks ago, another Ben Gurion lecturer, Dr. Neve Gordon, head of the Department of Politics and Government, escaped being fired even though he called for a political boycott against Israel. University Rector Prof. Weinblatt said at the time, “We live in a democratic country in which there is freedom of expression for all, even for those whose opinions are not appreciated by all.”
The Forum said that the firing of American-born Dr. Levitt is “of utmost gravity, violates his basic civil rights, academic freedom and freedom of speech. We demand that the university revoke this decision and enable him to continue giving his sole course, which he has been giving for many years.”
In a letter to University President Prof. Rivka Carmi and Education Minister Gideon Saar, the Forum says it will consider turning to the Supreme Court if the firing is not reversed.