LGBT Bigotry Through Academic Intolerance
This is the story of Dan DeLong, an honors English teacher in Piasa, Illinois. Last month, Mr. DeLong gave his students an assignment that asked them to read a paper on homosexuality in the animal kingdom. His quick suspension brought the issues of LGBT bigotry and academic freedom to the forefront.
The paper titled “The effeminate sheep and other problems with Darwinian sexual selection” was written by a professor at Stanford University, published in a popular science magazine, and readily available in most public libraries. The article is an interesting analysis of the evolutionary ramifications of homosexuality in the animal kingdom.
For the record, over 450 species of animals have exhibited homosexual behavior, including some celebrities. This is just as natural with other species as it is with our own. None the less, in more monotheistic religious countries like the United States, it is often viewed unfavorably by the greater culture. Thus, social conservatives in the district pressured school administrators to suspend Mr. DeLong without pay.
This was nothing more than gay discrimination wrapped in academic intolerance. Luckily, some brave folks fought this injustice and publicized what was going on. Crooks And Liars was quick to pick the story up, and from there it spread to other parts of the internet, although the only MSM traction appeared to be in the local news of Piasa. A support page was started on Facebook, which generated over 3000 followers in a few short days.
After a closed door session of the school board, they reached a compromise. Mr. DeLong apologized for subject material that some may not have deemed ‘age inappropriate’ in exchange for a full reinstatement.
This sets a dangerous precedent however. If he were to attempt assign another article on the subject, the suspension and likely more severe actions would result. Thus, academic freedom has been sacrificed in order to appease a small minded but vocal minority who fail to understand that while homosexuality is quite natural in the animal kingdom, bigotry has to be taught.