American Political Science Association: Fudging the Issue of a Pro-Gay Boycott
Unfortunately, nothing so insubstantial as a Constitution can stand in the way of a bunch of politically correct liberal professors caving to a politically correct interest group.
But what if the issue pits racial political correctness against gay political correctness?
The gay lobby within the APSA wanted to boycott New Orleans because voters in Louisiana had the temerity to vote to restrict marriage to one man and one woman.
Yet the race lobby within the organization, represented by the Committee on the Status of Blacks in the Profession, favored a convention in New Orleans as a means of helping revitalize a city whose (heavily black) citizens were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.
So what is a politically correct bunch of professors supposed to do if caught between two lobbies toward which they instinctively genuflict?
The answer: fudge.
From an APSA press release:
Washington, DC—The Council of the American Political Science Association voted yesterday to revise its site selection policy for meetings but not to move the association’s Annual Meeting from New Orleans in 2012. The new policy is aimed at speaking out against state legal restrictions on same-sex unions, reflecting a preference for engaging with the state of Louisiana on these issues rather than to boycott New Orleans.So the convention remains in New Orleans, but the APSA is going to “engage” Louisiana on the issue.
The vote by the Council was based on concerns that Article 4, paragraph 15 of the Louisiana state constitution, adopted in 2004, discriminates against the rights of same-sex couples and their families. For example, association members attending the APSA Annual Meeting may not be permitted to make medical decisions on behalf of their partner or family members.
Of course, the APSA has no right to “engage” anybody on any public issue, since its Constitution says “The Association as such is nonpartisan. It will not support political parties or candidates. It will not commit its members on questions of public policy.”
Sometimes, taking a middle position can be seen as a matter of principle, a compromise between legitimate concerns.
But in this case, it has nothing to do with principle. Rather, it’s a fudge.
It’s well known that college professors are not merely liberal or left, but that they are increasingly intolerant of views at odds with their own.
And the APSA’s actions send a message of intolerance. As Matthew J. Franck puts it:
No moral or religious reasons not to abandon the consensus of all of civilized history will be given a hearing by these [APSA] members, or even be admitted to exist as a good-faith matter in the minds of intelligent, decent colleagues. For the advocates of a “welcome environment,” the welcome will not be complete until everyone else agrees with them or shuts up.Any student in a political science class will get this clear message, indeed, has probably already gotten it.
As Charlotte Allen has noted:
The best approach for the APSA might be to follow the counsel of Daniel Lowenstein, a specialist in electoral politics at UCLA’s law school: “The whole purpose of the organization is to provide a forum where politics and the political process are researched and debated, not to take sides on controversial political issues.” Are these academics prepared for such a radical idea?The answer is simple: no, they aren’t.