It was a tweet I saw yesterday morning which irked me enough to write this post.
thurible Another anti-gay appointment @univofstandrews -http://bit.ly/90CWrH - #notfitforstudents #lgbt #nus #pisky#student #standrews
St Andrews university has appointed Professor Roger Scruton as a quarter-time professional fellow in moral philosophy. He is due to take up his new role in the spring.
It appears the decision has not been welcomed by some of the student body, including the students' association, who are concerned by Professor Scruton's view on homosexuality which they claim could create an 'uncomfortable' and 'unwelcoming' atmosphere for gay students.
The professor stated homosexuality was 'not normal' in a newspaper report in 2007 and has argued this case in two of his books say the St Andrews Students' Association website.
The issue has been raised with high ranking university officials, including the principal Dr Louise Richardson, by the students' association and the director of representation Siena Parker.
"They listened to our arguments and replied that Scruton, like every other member of staff, will have to sign up to and stand by the university's equal opportunities agenda.
"They also defended every academic's right to freedom of speech," said the newly elected president of the students' association Owen Wilton. The association says it regrets the appointment, but stressed prospective students should not be deterred from choosing St Andrews as a place to study, adding that the university deserves its reputation for being diverse and inclusive.
Professor Scruton is no stranger to controversy - he was dropped as a Financial Times columnist in 2002, due to allegations that he offered to write pro-smoking articles in exchange for payment.
What is it with the gay lobby that they consider everyone who comes into contact with them must support their sexuality? Why do they think they're 'special'? They would be the first to rise in anger if I protested about having a gay lecturer.
Before anyone accuses me of homophobia let me say that a person's sexuality is their own business. It doesn't interest me in the least - never has and never will. What I do object to is this type of interference which is could inflict harm upon the university's reputation now that it has been given publicity.
Well done St Andrews for sticking to their principle that: "Universities, particularly where philosophical argument is concerned, must be the one place where differing and difficult views can be freely held, expressed and challenged without fear of discrimination. That is the essence of academic freedom."
People attend universities to broaden their knowledge and mix with those of differing opinions and this attempt to influence staff appointments shows the gay lobby's inability to accept that.
If those at St Andrews don't like it there are other universities who may be willing to accommodate their petty complaints, because that's what they are and made by those who should be applauding a university which employs the diverse. Instead they decide to take the 'victim' route because an academic openly happens to disagree with them on a particular matter.
If the students of St Andrews are so disappointed with the appointment of Professor Scruton, (with whom I'd love to debate his homosexuality beliefs), they could set up their own university full of gay-supporting staff. Just a thought.