Mormon actress' lawsuit over cussing script dismissed

Posted: Friday, August 17, 2001

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A judge has dismissed a claim by a University of Utah theater student that the school violated her Mormon beliefs by forcing her to read from a script that contained profanity.

The offending words were part of a drama curriculum that did not take a position on religion, and only required the use of profane language as an academic exercise, U.S. District Judge Tena Campbell ruled Aug. 3.

Christina Axson-Flynn, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, argued in the lawsuit that her rights of free speech and religion were violated. Mormons are barred from using certain words, such as God, in vain, she said.

The university countered that all students get the same assignment and she chose to enroll in the acting program, which uses professional scripts that include swearing.

''The bottom line is you can't have a society in which everything you disagree with is in violation of your constitutional rights,'' said Alain Balmanno, an assistant Utah attorney general, who represented the school.

Axson-Flynn dropped out of the drama course after completing the first semester, then dropped out of the university.

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