n September 15, “StandForMarriageMaine.com” released a television ad. In it, Scott Fitzgibbon, a professor at Boston College Law School (a Catholic institution), argued for the traditional understanding of marriage as between one man and one woman and in favor of an upcoming referendum to overturn a law passed by the Maine legislature legalizing same-sex marriage. The ad unleashed a fire storm, directed at the courageous professor.
Fellow professors at B.C. Law School – one hesitates to call them colleagues – contacted the dean to express their anger. So fiery was the blast that the dean was forced to issue a statement that defended Fitzgibbon’s academic freedom (or right to speak his mind). But the dean also later joined a statement from faculty and administrators assuring homosexual students (and staff) that they were welcome at BC Law. Apparently, it is no longer remarkable that a Catholic law school in this country prides itself upon being “one of the first” to set up a non-discrimination category for homosexuals at a time when everyone, including surely BC law professors, knows that just such a category in federal law will be the nail in the coffin of religious liberty for America’s Catholic institutions.
This is a highly instructive event that invites comment.
Clearly what is going on here is an effort to “shame” Professor Fitzgibbon (and those who agree with him) into silence. The assumption by the angry members of the BC Law “community” is that his views are so far outside the “mainstream” that all right-thinking persons must reject them. They are so poisonous, on this view, that they make civic life impossible; anyone who holds them should be ashamed; they are intolerable. [reference]