FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A federal judge Friday refused to block a state-supported university from staging performances of a play with a gay Christ-like character.
A group of local residents and state lawmakers had filed a lawsuit seeking to prohibit Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from putting on Terrence McNally's "Corpus Christi." They argued that taxpayer money should not be used to help subsidize a production that attacks religion.
U.S. District Judge William C. Lee ruled the plaintiffs failed to show how the production would violate the separation of church and state.
Lee ruled the campus is not taking a position on religion by staging the play. He said holding the production on state university property is not the same as posting a religious monument at the seat of government — a reference to the Ten Commandments.
The university had contended that blocking the play would infringe on academic freedom and free speech.
The play, set in modern-day Texas, features a hard-drinking gay named Joshua and 12 other gay male characters, most of whom bear the names of Christ's apostles.
The play has generated controversy in other communities where it has been staged.