Conservative groups are rushing to the defense of a student, even though they purportedly don't agree with what he said. (Isn't this what conservatives attack the ACLU for doing?)
An Oct. 29 WorldNetDaily story by Jon Dougherty notes that the American Family Association of Pennsylvania is defending Dusquene University student Ryan Miner, who wrote in an Internet forum that homosexuals are "subhuman." The university, a private Catholic school, is seeking to impose sanctions on Miner for the remark, even though it appeared in a forum not operated by the university, because the school has a student code of conduct that applies both on and off campus.
Dougherty, unsurprisingly, merely regurgitates what the parties say and doesn't examine the inherent contradictions in what they say. The AFA spokesman is quoted as saying that "We cannot support Mr. Miner's description of homosexuals as 'subhuman,' but he has a First Amendment right to express those views on an off-campus blog. " But many religious private schools have rules governing off-campus behavior; Bob Jones University -- where students aren't allow to go to movies and all student dates are chaperoned -- is just one example. Will the AFA fight to overturn all school rules on off-campus student behavior?
And, of course, there's the "we don't agree with what he says but he has a right to say it" contortion. Come on; would the AFA getting involved in this if the student hadn't made an anti-gay remark? Nope; Dougherty also quotes the AFA official as saying that the student was merely following the example of Pope John Paul II in "publicly defending traditional family values in modern society."
The student himself gets his own chance to contort:
For his part, Miner maintains he's no bigot.
"I don't discriminate against homosexuals and I don't hate them. I just don't approve of the actions, especially at a Catholic university," he told the Duke.
Huh? Calling gays "subhuman" isn't an example of bigotry?