When then Senator Rick Santorum delivered the commencement address at Saint Joseph’s University in 2003 there was a massive walkout of faculty members and students. According to an AP article at the time:
About one in every eight graduates walked out of Sunday’s commencement at Saint Joseph’s University before the keynote address by Sen. Rick Santorum, who recently infuriated gay groups and others with derogatory remarks about homosexual behavior.
Santorum, the Senate’s third-ranking Republican, didn’t mention the walkout or the controversy directly.
“We are all called to love one another, even people we disagree with, even people who hate us for what we believe,” he said.
Students were offered an opportunity to leave before Santorum was introduced to receive an honorary degree and make his speech, and about 100 graduates walked out amid competing boos and applause.
Some students had urged the Jesuit university to rescind Santorum’s invitation after he likened gay behavior to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery in an April 7 interview with The Associated Press. He later said he intended the remarks as a legal analysis and didn’t intend to comment on individual lifestyles.
“Senator Santorum and I are at completely opposite ends of the spectrum,” said graduate Sara Foglesong, among those who walked out. “I am not incestuous. I am not a bigamist. I just happen to be bisexual. It offended me.”
But the comment by Santorum was just the fig leaf the protesters threw over their contempt for Republicans because there was talk of a walkout before he even made the comments.
And what Santorum was saying was that if the court declared it unconstitutional to make laws regarding sodomy there was nothing stopping the court from saying the government couldn’t make laws regarding bigamy or bestiality. I was a legal point he was making concerning judicial overreach not an anti-gay slur.
But the protestors knew that as well. They just wanted something inflammatory to feign outrage over.
Now SJU has asked pro-choice liberal Chris Matthews to deliver the commencement speech. Matthews is famously pro-choice as he even compared pro-lifers to terrorists.
I’m wondering if there will be any faculty walk-out for this one? Anyone? Anyone?