Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Free Speech Not Always Popular

Here are some excerpts from an article in tonight's edition of Aberdeen's newspaper, The Daily World:
A Grays Harbor College student senator who voted against the charter for a new gay-straight student alliance is being ridiculed on the college’s Internet message board. Members of the student body said today she should be censured or lose her senate seat because she believes being gay is “bad behavior.”

Plumb, a 17-year-old Running Start student from Hoquiam High School, voted against a measure that would have established a club for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and straight students last month because of her religious beliefs. Even so, the new club’s charter was approved on an 8-4 vote.

Other members of the senate who voted against the club haven’t stated their reasons publicly.

During last month’s student government meeting at GHC, no one explained their votes. But later, on an Internet message board sponsored by the college, the sparks started to fly.

“I simply don’t agree with homosexuality, and I am not going to support a club that does,” Plumb wrote when her vote was questioned. “It is my personal belief that homosexuality is a sin, and I am not going to support a bad behavior in any way.”

“I am extremely appalled that some of these people are representing my student government,” wrote Jen Anderson, a student who says that not all Christians are against homosexuals.
Needless to say, I don't share Plumb's "opinion" in the least. Still, while I disagree with her stance on morality, I support her right of free speech!

And we certainly need to applaud her for one thing -- she stated WHY she voted against the application. Three other students senators joined her in dissent, but have been silent as to why. Most likely, it's for the same reason.

As I've written on RT before, the greatest value of free speech is in understanding that some of the people who freely exercise it will voice an opinion that is unpopular or, at least, an opinion that you or I don't share. If we believe in this right, then we must defend its application for those who are like-minded OR those who state things we abhor. To do otherwise is to negate the very thing we say we believe in.


  1. I agree about the whole free speech thing, though I'm not so sure they should have made an issue out of the whole Gay-Straight thing. The most important thing is a student alliance, sexuality shouldn't be the deciding issue.

    However, the problem is that her religious beliefs would have influenced her vote, whatever they'd done. This sort of thing is why I am a huge supporter of the seperation of church and state, I personally think that politicians and anyone who runs for some sort of office should be required to be secular, though I know that'll never happen. :-(

  2. Yes, that redneck student senator has the same free speech rights as everyone else. It's a 2-way street. You can say anything you want, and somebody else can call you a #@$%&! for saying it.

  3. Yes, if we are to have freedom of speech, it has to apply to everyone - no matter how offensive their views. Also, it depends on how you define the term 'offensive'. A totalitarian government might find most of what we post here 'offensive'.

  4. Little Dragon,
    A totalitarian government wouldn't allow blogs such as this!


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