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Margaret Somerville, same sex marriage

Is that intolerance I smell at Ryerson?

By John Lawrence
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Margaret Somerville has quite the resumé. She is a world renowned ethicist. She is Gale Professor of Law and as such, is the first woman in Canada to hold a named Chair in Law. She is the founding Director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law in Montreal. She has received honorary doctorates from several universities and is considered brilliant by many of her peers.

For all of these reasons, and more, the honorary doctorate selection committee at Ryerson University in Toronto has selected her to receive an honorary doctorate from their institution today, and so they should have.

Apparently, no one in the doctorate department was aware that one's refusal to bow down to the golden sodomite is enough to have one deemed unworthy regardless of your academic acumen. Silly them, they simply looked at her accomplishments.

The people who have the most influence on our culture and our children are those who run this country's universities. Without a doubt, our children's minds (young adults by then, I suppose), are more or less cast by the time they are about half way through post secondary courses. It is in these 'bastions of knowledge' as they are so incorrectly called, that they are indoctrinated into the mind think of our day. One of the biggest projects in our lifetime has been for those in academia to convince our children to accept and even embrace diversity. Apparently it has been a hollow battle cry. There has really been no true desire for them to embrace diversity, but simply for them to free themselves from the constraints of the value system with which they were raised.

My reason for stating this is simply because of the truth of the matter. Margaret Somerville has been an advocate for the rights of same-sex couples and a supporter of equal rights for gays. She is not a homophobe, whatever that really is, and she is not a bigot.

I will state right off that the views of Margaret on such things as same-sex unions and circumcision, to name a few, are in direct conflict with my views. I do, however, believe that she has the right to her views and am unwilling to label her as any kind of phobe simply to discredit her and to silence her voice. That is what freedom of expression and thought is all about. It appears, however, that many of Ryerson's own faculty are not as generous at offering the same type of respect to those of differing ideologies.

Margaret is on record as not supporting the idea of same-sex marriage. Her reasons have nothing to do with bigotry or fear. They are, in fact, based on simple logic and on experience that she has had counseling children who feel abandoned and incomplete because of not having biological parents in the traditional sense. As a result of the feelings that have been shared with her by children not born into a normal home with parents of both genders, Mrs. Somerville thinks kids do best with two parents, one of each gender, to whom they are biologically related. All other arrangements in her view fall short of that measure. That includes one parent, two female parents, two male parents, three parents, no parents, step-parents and extended families, and whatever other mix we could possibly concoct to make this more confusing.

Her emphasis has absolutely nothing to do with the sodomite and lesbian lifestyles, but simply centres around proven evidence of what is best for the child. What a novel concept.

Regardless of her reasons, some in the pro-sodomite and lesbian community and supporters have shown their absolute disregard for scientific reasoning, personal conviction, common sense, or tolerance of any opposing viewpoints other than their own. What transpired at Ryerson University recently should forever be a stain on that institution's reputation. The participants who tried to mar the ceremony which marked Margaret Somerville's acceptance should be ashamed. I would even suggest that if they are a true reflection of what is instilled at Ryerson, it would be a great place not to send one's own children.

When one conjures up the image of a professor, one pictures someone who has matured both emotionally and intellectually. You would expect their behaviour to be the epitome of respectfulness and for them to simply reflect on the reasoning behind the differing beliefs that others around them have. They can adamantly disagree with them, but there is a time for that. When one is receiving a degree, that is not the time.

There were protestors in the gallery during today's commencement wearing silly little rainbow buttons with slogans such as "I'm Straight but not Narrow", and a few grown men and women on stage who actually profess to be mature enough to teach the next generation (those being professors) being immature and childish enough to turn their backs on Mrs. Somerville to unveil a banner. Can you imagine such a sight?

Let's look at the slogan on those buttons. What exactly is it trying to say. The 'straight and narrow', of course, is a veiled reference to the Bible and to the teachings of Christ. Apparently, if you can somehow suggest that the person speaking (or in this case the person who is being honored) is a right wing religious zealot, then you can turn the opinions of others against them. As well, straight refers to their sexual orientation. Narrow is also a reference to the term 'narrow minded' and suggests that anyone with an opposing viewpoint is not only narrow minded, but should be discounted outright. I will offer a guess that this catchy button was indeed designed by a Ryerson student.

Ryerson Students' Union member Nora Loreto launched a petition campaign to block the award in cooperation with the university's gay and lesbian organization. She called the committee's decision to go forward with the award despite the objections of some as ridiculous. "If this was any other kind of hate, I would expect that the university would be very, very quick to rescind this degree."

I find it extremely troubling that somebody who believes that they are educated can come to the conclusion that not agreeing with someone else constitutes hatred. These students will be writing our next generation of legislation. Am I the only one with goosebumps?

What has occurred today should and will send a clear message to the Canadian public and to many in the student body in Canada's educational community. The sodomite agenda is to be accepted. There will be no half-measures and the tolerant in our midst will not tolerate any opposing viewpoints.

If you don't agree with the perversions of others, you are simply hateful. It matters not that your personal experiences dictate to you the opposing viewpoint that you hold, nor whether it is study upon study.

Should you wish to have a smooth ride among the corridors of our 'higher education' system, you will conform. You will bow down to the golden sodomite and will simply do as you are told.

If not, we will call you all sorts of nasty names and will point an accusing finger at you.

How dare you think!

John Lawrence is the editor of www.conservativejoe.com. He is a father to 5 wonderful children, has been married for 15 years, worked at Canada Post for 16 years, and enjoys writing in his spare time. He currently resides in the community of Courtice, Ontario, 20 minutes east of Toronto.
John can be reached at: letters@torontofreepress.com
Columns 2006 2005