The University of Wyoming lost its case in court to censure church elder Todd Schmidt from preaching his anti-LGBTQ ideas in the Union Breezeway.
Judge Nancy Freudenthal concluded that “the foregoing reasons, the Court enjoins the UW Officials, and their agents, from censoring Schmidt’s views on the sexual identity of Artemis Langford and enjoins the application of the ban on tabling currently in effect.”
Schmidt sued the University for infringing upon his constitutional right to free speech after he was banned from the college for a year after referencing a transgender student by name on a table banner.
Schmidt continued to preach outside of the Union, and even received a trespassing warning from university police when he showed up at the trans student’s sorority house.
The court ruled that Schmidt’s behavior was not harassing and that UW appears to be favoring one viewpoint over another.
According to the court, the Union “breezeway appears to afford unique opportunities for one-on-one engagement communication.”
“Schmidt engaged in tense debate with students regarding the propriety of a biological male joining a sorority. He did not engage directly with Artemis Langford. His sign was pure speech and not conduct. Furthermore, Schmidt’s speech does not meet the University’s own definition of discrimination or harassment.”
In a press release, the University of Wyoming said it was disappointed in the ruling but will comply with the injunction. They are still considering if they would like to continue further arguments in the case.
The University also said that they believe the actions toward Schmidt were “appropriate and lawful, especially considering his prior misconduct.”
The University also share that they encourage freedom of speech and expression, along with diverse views, but they prioritize student safety and protection from harassment and discrimination.
“While the court found in this instance Pastor Schmidt’s conduct was not harassment or discrimination, the university’s right to regulate certain conduct by those tabling in the student union was recognized, and the university will continue to take lawful steps to protect the safety of students, employees and members of the public.”