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“America needs to stand against homosexuality”

So writes LSU student opinion writer Michael Denton found in the latest issue of The Daily Reveille. After an dizzying mish-mash of pseudo-science, religious objections to homosexuality and quite a bit of uber-conservative political commentary that would make the extreme Right proud, Denton concludes his piece with the following:

America needs to grow in self-confidence on this debate. The homosexual argument is illogical; sexuality is obviously meant for reproduction. Any sexual activity that is opposed to life is intrinsically disordered. Yet we continue to refuse to stand up for ourselves, allowing courts, school boards and speech codes to dictate political correctness to us.

There are few greater debates in America today. The gay marriage issue threatens marriage and the family, which are the very foundations of society. Unless America decides to stand for something in this case, we’ll continue to fall. When we land, we might not get back up.

The irony here is that I would be the first person to defend his right to hold this view (speech codes are indeed unconstitutional), along with his right to freely practice his religion, yet he cannot find it within himself to extend the same to me or anyone else who is gay. Heck, I myself find much to object among “gay activists”. Yet nowhere in the Constitution is there a right for Mr. Denton or even a majority of this country to impose their religious beliefs onto society. If such were the case than interracial marriage would have remained illegal in Lousiana and much of the South for far longer than the late 1960s. It is even more bitter irony that a Catholic of all people would have forgotten exactly what such a zealous attitude in the past meant to his fellow believers at the ‘loving’ hands of some non-Catholics. If it is a debate on religious doctrine and homosexuality that Mr. Denton desires, that is fine and he’ll undoubtedly find someone who’ll accept the challenge. Pharsea (cached version) might enjoy discussing the late JPII’s Theology of the Body as it relates to this matter. Yet his argument in this piece boils down to a religious objection to homosexuality that is irrelevant and blatantly unconstitutional in the public arena. My rights and yours are not subject to the whims of the majority.

(h/t Good As You)

— John (Average Gay Joe)

Conservative (& libertarian) Bloggers defend Liberal Law Professor

Posted by GayPatriotWest at 7:46 pm - September 12, 2007.
Filed under: Academia,Blogging,Civil Discourse,Legal Issues

Welcome Instapundit Readers!!

Several things struck me today when I read about the decision of the University of California at Irvine (UCI) to rescind its offer of the deanship of its new law school to Erwin Chemerinsky, one of the nation’s top liberal constitutional law scholars. The school deemed the outspoken professor “politically controversial.” Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake said “Chemerinsky’s political views would make him a target for criticism from conservatives.”

It was not just that in its article on the rescission that the LA Times identified him as “liberal.” When a professor is outspoken, mainstream newspapers tend only to identify his political/philosophical leanings if he is right of center.

But, what really struck me, impressed me indeed, was that a number of bloggers who themselves are right of center were quick to denounce the decision. Glenn Reynolds (the first to inform me of the decision) found the hiring and firing within one week “just weird,” noting the Chemerinsky was a “a nice, fair guy regardless of his politics.” Hugh Hewitt, more conservative than Glenn, labeled the decision UCI’s Disgrace. Hugh wrote:

It had selected my friend and regular radio guest Duke University Law School Professor Erwin Chemerinsky as the school’snew dean. Erwin is a man of the left, of course, but a remarkably distinguished and accomplished scholar who enjoys the esteem of professors, jurists and practitioners across the ideological spectrum.

Seems a liberal law professor who counts among his friends one of the nation’s most outspoken conservative bloggers would surely respect intellectual differences in a new law school. Such a man would not be likely to let his own political views prejudice his administrative responsibilities.

While I knew sometime in law school that I would likely never practice law, I completed my legal education, in large measure because I enjoyed the intellectual atmosphere at the University of Virginia (U-VA). One of my favorite professors was among the most left-wing. As I wrote in previous post:

In my last semester in law school, I chose a course with my second favorite law professor (one of the most liberal members of the U-VA Law faculty) over one (which met at the same hour) with my favorite professor (a conservative) because I thought I could learn more from teacher with whom I frequently disagreed.

That professor, while offering a challenging course, showed great respect to students who offered conservative viewpoints in class. U-VA was one of the few law schools where liberal and conservative students regularly conversed and even attended the events of each other’s organizations. It was indeed a most civil environment.

It would seem that a liberal law professor of Mr. Chemerinsky’s caliber, respected by his “ideological adversaries” might be able to create just such an environment at the new law school being created at the University of California at Irvine. Indeed, acknowledging that he’s a “liberal law professor,” Chemerinsky said, “My hope was that I’d address it [concern about his views] by making the law school open to all viewpoints..”

It’s unfortunate the school thought his viewpoints would get in the way of his intellectual leadership. And it says a lot about my favorite bloggers that they are standing up for a guy with whom they are often at odds on matters of politics and legal interpretation.

UPDATE: Just caught John Leo’s comments on the matter. He sees this as a “test case for conservatives who support free speech and argue vehemently against political tests for faculty and administration appointments.” He asks whether “these principles apply only to conservatives, or do they protect liberals as well” (Via Instapundit). Let us hope that conservatives who decry the bias against our philosophical allies on campuses stand up for a liberal who faces discrimination because of his ideas.

And it seems that Chemerinsky is cut from the same cloth as some of my liberal professors at U-VA. Leo notes that this liberal professor gave a student a 4.0 for a “Scalia-esque” final exam.

Seeking Pirates, Wenches and Mermaids

I’m in the mood to lighten things up a bit here.   So I wanted to share with y’all an email that made me laugh when I saw it in my In-Box today….

Cast Call — Seeking Extra Pirate Actors

For the “Invasion Of The Maritime Pirates” at the Greenport Maritime Festival, Greenport, Long Island, New York, September 22nd & 23rd. Seeking Pirates, Wenches, Mermaid & Runaway Gorilla. Travel stipend provided. Some meals provided. Will sail on the Schooner Mary E.
Also seeking stage/roadie crews with stipend pay.

Website: www.MaritimePirates.com (Click Auditions)

This of course comes just in advance of one of my favorite yearly holidays:  Talk Like A Pirate Day on September 19!

Arrrrrrggggggggggh!

-Bruce (GayPatriot)