Anti-Gay Visiting Law Professor At NYU Causes Controversy

Jill at Feministe gives the basics:

Oh this story is so easy to critique. The summary is this: NYU Law, my alma mater, invited National University of Singapore professor Dr. Li-ann Thio to teach as a visiting professor. Dr. Thio is slated to teach “Human Rights in Asia,” and is certainly an accomplished academic and politician. However, Dr. Thio also has some, uh, questionable views on homosexuality and gay rights — she compared anal sex to “shoving a straw up your nose to drink,” for example, and in a speech supporting the continued criminalization of sex between men (which she called “acts of gross indecency”) let loose gems such as “You cannot make a human wrong a human right” and “Diversity is not a license for perversity.”

Unsurprisingly, NYU’s OUTLaw (the LGBT organization on campus) sent out an email about Dr. Thio’s positions, “for LGBT students and allies to be aware of her views in order to make fully informed decisions regarding class registration.”

Later on in the same blog posting, Jill both reproduces and responds point by point to an 18 point defense and counter-offensive which Dr. Thio has offered in reply to the criticism she has received.

Interesting stuff if you have the time.

Is this a question of protecting academic freedom or of rejecting rationally indefensible homophobia?  Your Thoughts?

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