After accusing his colleague of being ‘that’s too gay’, a senior lecturer at a university has been denied a discrimination case.

Stephen Lannin said that an academic colleague made this comment after seeing something in a computer monitor.

Brent Meheux was challenged by the lecturer in graphic design about this, and he replied, “Oh, I didn’t mean that like that,” which led to an employment tribunal hearing.

Lannin said that an incident where a student was called a ‘ladyboy during a lecture was inappropriate.

He was also upset that people were referred to as “puffy” because they don’t drink enough alcohol.

After being made redundant after 17 years of employment at Solent University, Southampton, Hampshire for discrimination reasons Mr Lannin filed the claims.

However, his claims were denied by the tribunal panel. They ruled that Mr Meheux hadn’t made the “that’s too gay” comment.

Stephen Lannin (pictured) alleged a fellow academic made the remark after seeing something on a computer screen

Stephen Lannin (pictured), claimed that a colleague academic said the comment after seeing something on a screen.

When the graphic design lecturer challenged him about it, course leader Brent Meheux (pictured) replied 'oh I didn't mean it like that', an employment tribunal heard

Brent Meheux (pictured), the leader of course in graphic design, replied that he didn’t mean it as such when he was confronted by him. An employment tribunal was also heard.

At the hearing in Bristol, it was revealed that Mr Lannin had been a senior lecturer on Graphic Design at Bristol’s School of Art, Design and Fashion since 2002.

(2015) He made a complaint to Peter Lloyd, the Dean of the faculty about an increase number of homophobic remarks in his office.

He said Mr Meheux was anti-PC, hated PC culture and that he had heard him comment.

Lannin sent an email in which he described two incidents but did not identify the perpetrator.

“The concerned person used the expression “that’s gay” to describe something that they had seen on their computer,” he said of the first.

“I challenged the remark. The person in question then said, “Oh, I didn’t mean that like that.” I responded that I hoped that they would never use that phrase with students.

He said the second: “(A different person, in the context of jokes, used the term ‘Puffy” to describe the way a person behaves.” [not a gay individual]You may feel that you are not drinking enough alcohol. It was a mistake to not question the commentator.

Professor Lloyd instructed him to directly address those who made the comments – which Mr Lannin criticized, according to the panel.

Professor Lloyd hosted four students dressed up as ladybirds or mushrooms to tell the tribunal.

According to the hearing, the professor said that he was a ladybird dressed up and asked him if he could be a ladyboy. After he said, “OK this doesn’t sound right. They’re ladybirds.”

Lannin stated to the panel that he feels ‘disgusted” that the School of Art, Design, Fashion director would tell such an insulting, demeaning joke about students at public events.

In 2015 he complained to the faculty's Dean Professor Peter Lloyd (pictured) about an increase in 'casual homophobic remarks' in the office

He complained to Professor Peter Lloyd, the Dean of the Faculty in 2015 about the increase in homophobic comments in the office.

However, the Tribunal ruled that Professor Lloyd “did not make this association” but pointed out the fact that Lloyd’s fumble was “no doubt an embarrassment to himself”.

Lannin heard that his ‘changing operational need’ had led to him being fired in April 2019. The decision was appealed by Mr Lannin, who claimed that his sexuality is’relevant’.

The appeal hearing heard that Mr Lannin claimed that he was subject to discriminatory treatment as a teenager and that this bias continued throughout his career teaching at Solent University.

He also used a policy called ‘provocative questionsing’, and the tribunal asked Professor Graham Baldwin (ex-Vice-Chancellor) about his sexuality.

He asked the panel if Mr Lannin had ever revealed to his parents that he was heterosexual. On the other hand, Lannin inquired if he had ever spoken to his students as a teacher/lecturer about their sexuality.

Professor Lloyd did not answer, and the tribunal heard that there were raised voices.

During the appeal meeting, Mr Lannin said he had suffered discriminatory treatment and bias as a young man and this had continued in his teaching career, including at Solent University (pictured), the panel heard

At the appeal meeting Mr Lannin stated that he was subject to discriminatory treatment as a youth and it had been reflected in his teaching career.

He appealed to the court but was rejected unanimously.

The panel, headed by Andrew Matthews, an employment judge, concluded that Mr Meheux hadn’t made the remarks Mr Lannin claimed.

He also claimed that his claims were too late, but the tribunal ruled they had no foundation.

According to the judge, Mr Meheux didn’t make such a comment.

It said that Professor Lloyd’s joke about a ‘ladyboy” was fabricated to insult Mr Lannin’s dignity.

“It wasn’t addressed to any one in particular. Also, we don’t believe it had such an effect. Mr Lannin didn’t take any actions at that time.

His behavior during appeal meetings was also considered provocative by the panel.

“We reject Mr Lannin’s claim that his dismissal is discriminatory,” it stated. The University provided the permissible cause for Lannin’s dismissal as redundancy.