Anti-gay activists often like to promote in their anti-marriage equality/anti-gay campaigns that opposing viewpoints shouldn’t be silenced or censored. But often that attitude of censorship is one that those who claim to seeking an open dialogue practice themselves.
Some leaders of Ohio’s private and Baptist-based Cedarville University were so upset that the student newspaper The Ventriloquist was developing a reputation for pro-gay content, they decided to just go ahead and confiscate every copy of it.
In an interview with Generation Progress, an organization that promotes “progressive solutions to key social and political challenges” generally centered around college campuses, Ventriloquist editor Zach Schneider recalled the initial confrontation with University President Thomas White and VP for Student Life Jonathan A. Wood:
“[Wood] came up to me and said I didn’t have permission to pass out [The Ventriloquist] and he grabbed the copies from my hands. I let him have them because I didn’t want to get into a tug-of-war, but asked if I could have the copies back. He just told me they were being confiscated.”
Generation Progress notes with Cedarville being a private university that freedom of the press is much more limited:
Frank LoMonte, Executive Director of the Student Press Law Center, said student media’s rights are limited at private colleges like Cedarville.
“On campus at a private college, the First Amendment doesn’t come into play at all,” LoMonte said. “It’s like a private business.”
It’s not a very open dialogue if you are confiscating and censoring content of student publications that attempt to provide a positive profile of gay persons. The last part of the statement is really what is at issue here. If you keep education and criticism out of people’s hands, they can’t question your opinions, authority or theology.