‘Misplaced Political Correctness’
April 17, 2006
by Charles Mitchell
As Robert noted
previously, Georgia Tech is facing an Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) lawsuit over its unconstitutional speech code. On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times editorialized
on the suit and placed it in precisely the appropriate historical context, mentioning the well-chronicled rise of campus speech codes in the 1980s and 1990s—and the way courts struck such codes down. As FIRE’s Spotlight
database shows, the age of speech codes is not over—universities have just decided to trample the First Amendment a little more sneakily, by way of sticking illiberal provisions in things like harassment and tolerance policies.
Regarding ADF’s more recent suit, the Times writes, “The allegation is that, out of misplaced political correctness, universities are cramping the 1st Amendment rights of students who feel compelled by their faith to denounce homosexuality.” And judging by the conclusion of the piece, the Times must think that allegation has merit. Here it is:
It isn’t necessary—or even desirable—to protect gay students, Christian students or any other types of students from opinions they find hurtful. Indeed, the civil exchange of competing views is part of the purpose of higher education. Colleges have the right to protect students from harassment, but they must be careful not to trample on the 1st Amendment rights of other students.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.