Students who oppose gay marriage are homophobic – or, at least, that’s what a Marquette University instructor can be heard saying on an audio recording, reports Fox News.
The instructor went on to say that gay-rights issues cannot be discussed in class because it might offend homosexuals.
According to Fox News, ethics instructor Cheryl Abbate led a conversation in “Theory of Ethics” class about applying philosophical theories to modern political controversies, among them gay rights, gun rights and the death penalty.
A 20-year-old student said that the class discussed all of the controversies – except gay rights.
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“She erased that line from the board and said, 'We all agree on this,'” said the student, who asked not to be identified.
However, because the student did not agree with Abbate, he approached her after class and told her that he thought they should have discussed the issue of gay rights.
And, unbeknownst to her, he recorded their conversation.
The student asked her if she was saying that “if I don’t agree with gays not being allowed to get married that I’m homophobic?”
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“I’m saying it would come off as a homophobic comment in this class,” Abbate replied.
When the student told her that “it’s still wrong for the teacher of a class to completely discredit one person’s opinion,” Abbate disagreed, noting, instead, that there are “some opinions that are not appropriate – that are harmful – such as racist opinions, sexist opinions.”
Abbate then asked the student if he thought it would be offensive to a homosexual student to challenge gay marriage; the student replied that it is his “right as an American citizen” to challenge that.
The teacher replied that the student doesn’t “have a right, in this class especially, to make homophobic comments.”
That’s when the conversation got heated.
The student retorted that his comments were not homophobic.
“You can have whatever opinions you want, but I will tell you right now: In this class, homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated,” Abbate said. “If you don’t like it, you are more than free to drop this class.”
The student did end up dropping the class and went on to express his discontent over not being “allowed to have an open discussion in a discussion-type class on a specific issue because it’s regarded as homophobic.”
As reported by Fox News, the student said he filed a complaint, but that university officials dismissed his concerns.
In the Marquette Warrior blog, Marquette Professor John McAdams wrote that “like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university. And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university.”
A university spokesman said that they were viewing “both a concern raised by a student and a concern raised by a faculty member.”
“We are taking appropriate steps to make sure that everyone involved is heard and treated fairly,” the spokesman said.
A full review of the audio tape reveals that the student was “disrespectful to the instructor” and that the student replied untruthfully when the instructor asked if she was being recorded, reports Fox News. Furthermore, the student reportedly later admitted that he was “wrong” and that he “regretted” his actions.”