Response From Boston College Dean Regarding Prof’s SFMM Ads

Yesterday, Dean John Garvey issued the following letter to students, concerned about Scott Fitzgibbon's inserting himself and their college into the Maine same-sex marriage law referendum debate.

 

Below the fold, some reaction including revelation of how Fitzgibbon works.

 

 

From “The Eagle Online”, a newsletter for Boston College law students, comes these front page articles:

 

 


Prof. Fitzgibbon, do you still use the terms “negro” and “oriental” too?

Or is it just the gay community that you feel is an acceptable minority to demonize?  Referring to marriage between two people of the same sex as “homosexual marriage”, and thus implicitly referring to gay people as “homosexuals”, is extremely offensive, degrading, and it needs to stop now.

There’s a reason the The Associated PressThe New York Times and The Washington Post among others all restrict usage of the term “homosexual” in their reporting.  Via Glaad, it is “a word whose clinical history and pejorative connotations are routinely exploited by anti-gay extremists to suggest that lesbians and gay men are somehow diseased or psychologically/emotionally disordered, and which, as The Washington Post notes, “can be seen as a slur.” 

Boston College Law School is a highly respected and prestigious institution that prides itself on an inclusive community.  I do hope that all future prospective students know that they are welcome here and Professor Scott Fitzgibbon does not speak for the majority of professors or students at BC Law.

 Third, and most importantly, homosexual is the word the religious right uses expressly and uniquely in an effort to dehumanize gays. Anti-gay religious right activists have said publicly that they will not use the word “gay” – rather, they insist on using “homosexual.” 

Again, I don’t mean to [be] opinionated about it, but if you don’t hear the negative nuance in the word homosexual, it’s either because you’re not listening, or more likely, you don’t have an ear for language. There’s a reason that colored and Negro and oriental weren’t offensive terms years ago, yet are today. The nuance of words changes over time. And while gays were once thought to be mentally disturbed – that all changed in 1973 – the language has not changed since that time.

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Don’t like an AP title? Just pull a Fitzgibbon and distort it.*

As I wrote yesterday, the The Associated Press restricts the usage of the term “homosexual” in its reporting.  As does The New York Times and The Washington Post among others because, as Glaadputs it, “homosexual” is “a word whose clinical history and pejorative connotations are routinely exploited by anti-gay extremists to suggest that lesbians and gay men are somehow diseased or psychologically/emotionally disordered, and which, as The Washington Post notes, “can be seen as a slur.””

Now check out the picture above.  Rest assured the AP title you see from the anti-gay ad, which Prof. Scott Fitzgibbon of BC Law starred in is a complete and utter distortion.  As described above, the AP does not use the term “homosexual” because it’s degrading and offensive.    

In the ad, Fitzgibbon states, “Church organizations could lose their tax exemption” while showing the distorted AP photo.  The whole ad discusses the supposed consequences of gay marriage so I think it’s a reasonable inference to make that “church organizations could lose their tax exemption” is due to gay couples getting married.   However, that’s not even what that AP article is about.  Instead, it’s a lawsuit that claims the Catholic Diocese of Maine is violating tax rules by engaging in political activity which violates IRS rules applying to nonprofits.  

*Pulling a Fitzgibbon refers to the ad that Scott Fitzgibbon starred in and does not imply that he personally was part of the decision making process to distort that AP article.  He is at best complicit with that decision if he does or says nothing in response and at worst he was a part of that decision.

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I suspect there will be much more reaction out of Boston College regarding Fitzgibbon's commercials… 

 

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