FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) _ Residents and state lawmakers asked a judge Tuesday to block a state university from allowing students to stage a play that portrays a gay Christ-like character.

Eleven residents and 21 legislators have filed suit asking U.S. District Judge William Lee to ban Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne from presenting ``Corpus Christi'' next month. They say the play should not be presented at a taxpayer-funded university.

``The language is crass and crude,'' state Sen. David Ford, one of the plaintiffs, testified Tuesday. ``It attacks not only the Christian religion, it takes particular aim at the Catholic church and women.''

Attorney Stephen Pennell, who represents the university, said speech shouldn't be suppressed simply because someone takes offense to it. He said the university was within the law to allow student Jonathan Gilbert to present the play beginning Aug. 10.

Lee is expected to rule this week.

On Monday, the university reached an agreement with the New York-based Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The group agreed to support the school's right to stage the play, but will distribute a protest statement to people who attend.