Yesterday, we talked about a Boston College Law professor, Scott Fitzgibbon, who went up to Maine to shoot an anti-gay-marriage commercial. John Garvey, Dean of Boston College Law, didn’t respond to us, but he did send around an email to the BC Law community. As many predicted, Dean Garvey defended Professor Fitzgibbon. Here is the pertinent part of Dean Garvey’s letter:
Professor Fitzgibbon, as a member of our faculty, is free to express his views. His public statements represent his own opinions, as the advertisement makes clear, and do not state any official position of Boston College Law School. We also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly. Many have done so while referring to themselves as BC Law professors. One of them has publicly led the fight to oppose the Solomon Amendment on the grounds that it is an affront to gay and lesbian students and prospective members of the U.S. military. Others have taken controversial positions on such subjects as abortion, euthanasia, and the treatment of detainees.
I believe that free expression is central to our mission as a law school committed to public discourse and the free exchange of ideas and opinions. We have faculty and students from many different backgrounds, and with many different points of view. It is our expectation that they will continue to engage in public discourse, and argue their positions with passion and civility, with the intellectual freedom that an academic institution affords to us all.
Dean Garvey is clearly right insofar as academic institutions must be grounded on the free exchange of thoughts and ideas, even when those ideas are controversial.
But as NYU Law Dean Richard Revesz found out, the gay marriage issue isn’t always as simple as a mere intellectual debate. If you believe that marriage is a basic civil right, then the issue can transcend the normal bounds of academic discourse.
Not surprisingly, Above the Law readers have some opinions on whether Dean Garvey is taking the correct stance here. We present Dean Garvery’s full letter and some of the best comments and emails, after the jump.
The gay marriage debate continues to rage in New England, and now a Boston College law professor wants to weigh in. The state of Maine has a ballot proposition about gay marriage this fall, and BC Law Professor Scott T. Fitzgibbon decided to shoot an anti-gay marriage ad.
Just to be clear, this is not a Dr. Li-ann Thio situation. Thio was invited to teach at NYU Law this fall and later declined the invitation under a hail of student protests. But Thio seemed to go out of her way to disparage gays and lesbians and the very practice of homosexual sex.
Fitzgibbon at least tries to stick to the legal issues surrounding the systematic denial of civil rights to gays and lesbians. After the jump, check out the ad for yourself.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
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