East Carolina University (ECU) has launched a new campaign that attempts to pressure employees to affirm homosexuality despite their religious and moral objections to the lifestyle. Couched in the language of safety and inclusion, the program promises to brand as intolerant those who refuse to accept the university's official position on matters of private sexual morality. This is especially problematic, given that ECU is a public university.
The campaign was launched with a profoundly unwise email, sent by university employee Summer Wisdom under the subject line "Gay? Fine by me." She begins:
"This spring the LGBT Resource Office (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) is hosting a program called 'Gay? Fine By Me' and we would love for you and your department to share in this opportunity. The LGBTRO will be ordering shirts that say 'gay? fine by me' and distributing them to faculty, staff and students to promote an atmosphere of support on campus. This simple message helps to combat homophobia by publically (sic) affirming our LGBT community and creating an inclusive environment where all students can feel safe to express who they are. The shirts will be distributed free of charge, though the LGBTRO welcomes donations to the project."
Note that Wisdom, while not demonstrating wisdom, does demonstrate honesty in two ways. First, she admits that affirmation, rather than tolerance, is the goal of her movement. Second, she characterizes refusal to affirm homosexuality as evidence of a "phobia," which needs to be combatted. Her position is simple: Pro gay is fine by me. Anything else is not fine by me. She continues her assault on reason:
"Everyone will be encouraged to wear the shirts on campus and to participate in a campus wide ally project where we will create a Human Rainbow during the annual Barefoot on the Mall celebration. Photos of this massive showing of LGBT support will be publicized on the LGBTRO’s website and social media accounts."
Wow. Everyone will be encouraged to wear a t shirt saying "Gay? Fine by me." Why? Because they know there is opposition on the campus and they need to combat it. In other words, they are going to promote inclusion on campus by "encouraging" people to promote a message with which they disagree. Then they will take a picture to preserve a record of those who conformed. These are the same people who oppose prayer in schools because they think kids will be stigmatized for refusing to bow their heads. She continues: