16 November 2009

Stand by the Queer Community Statement

The Bert Chapman story has gained media attention in a variety of places. LGBTQ readers of a variety of blogs have seen the story. So have readers of various newspapers, listeners of some radio stations, and television watchers.

Unfortunately, some feel the story has to keep growing. This has already haunted Bert Chapman. Maybe he will learn that he is wrong, but I doubt it. Let's not make this haunt the LGBTQ population at Purdue. Bert Chapman posted comments. It has been shown that he was wrong. He has felt the backlash. There is no harassment case, and it should not be made into one. It is an issue, as the local LGBTQ organizations have stated, of free speech versus community standards. Bert Chapman has the right to say what he said. Equally, we have the right and obligation to say that he was wrong. Bert Chapman has heard that he was wrong; that his statements are false, that he is hiding behind false claims. Let's not move this beyond acceptable free speech. Let's not take this into the realms of harassment or anything else. Don't let this move into territory where everybody loses. Purdue has distanced themselves from him, which is all that one can expect.

I just want to make this statement - Bert Chapman posted a blog post on his private blog. What he said in that post was wrong, malicious, and offensive. It was not, however, breaking a Purdue policy. His speech in this sense has to be protected, just as my speech to write this blog post has to be protected. The Purdue community has done what it needed to do - show people that they disagree with Mr. Chapman. The librarians of Purdue did a wonderful move when they made their statement.Let's not devalue a huge gesture like that. People know Mr. Chapman hurt Purdue's image and that what he said was inaccurate. Our job here is no longer to point this out. I worry that now, I will have to defend Mr. Chapman as others go parading against his right to free speech. What then, of my activism? Will it be protected?

If speech is not protected, who is going to get silenced? A fair percentage of the Purdue community still doesn't accept Queer people. Do we want to create backlash against the work that has been done? Purdue is far behind the other Big 10 Universities in LGBTQ issues, do we want to make it worse?

Let's stop while we are ahead. The local LGBTQ organizations, the voice of the Queer community, has made a statement. Let's rally behind that statement, and leave it there. The Queer Student Union has distanced itself from all statements but this one for a reason. Let's not backtrack the work that has been done (or that is being done).

Side note on Progress:

Promising things are happening at Purdue. Gender Identity and Expression may be gaining ground for its addition to the nondiscrimination policy. I am hoping that Genetic Predisposition and Carrier Status, and Political Affiliation, will also make it on to the list of items to be added. Gender Identity is including in federal hate crimes legislation and featured in some way in all Big 10 nondiscrimination policies (except Purdue). Genetic Information is the next obvious area of discrimination, and steps at the federal and state level have been made to protect one from discrimination on this basis - hopefully Purdue will add to that effort. As for Political Affiliation, I think this one speaks for itself in a time like this.

As for the complicated reporting procedures here at Purdue, there may be change coming. Maybe, students will actually understand how to report real incidents of harassment and discrimination. If a solid system could be made that is easier to understand and use, Purdue would have made a HUGE step towards diversity and inclusion.

As for a Director of LGBTQ Affairs, Purdue still remains the Big 10 without one, but the case for one is growing. I won't go into this as it deserves WAY more attention, and I have quite a bit of information to cover on it.

Bert Chapman Official Queer Community Statement

As Vice President of the Queer Student Union and an active member in the Queer Community of Purdue University, I thought I would pass on the joint statement of the local LGBTQ organizations.

Local LGBT Rights Groups Denounce Chapman Blog As Offensive
A recent personal blog post by Purdue librarian, Professor Bert Chapman, has raised the conflict between free speech and community standards. The undersigned groups support free speech, but that does not mean there are no consequences for such statements. While it is clear that all individuals have the right to print anything they wish regardless of the lack of value or research, it's also true that statements in print (or in this case on-line) should be rejected and called out when they misstate the facts and cause damage to a segment of the community. In this case, "An Economic Case Against Homosexuality, " is a mishmash of anti-gay rhetoric denouncing immorality and a pseudo-factual analysis of the economics of HIV infection. But the poor quality of research and the obvious bias against gays undercuts any serious consideration of his thesis, let alone the obvious conclusion, which Chapman does not seem to have the courage to state. Since he argues that money spent to fight HIV/AIDS (which is more prevalent now in the heterosexual community than the GLBT) is wasted, he is, in effect condemning all infected regardless of orientation to a death sentence. Such a poorly researched and sourced statement as this is shocking enough from a university staffer, let alone a tenured professor responsible for library research in the field of political science.

The Lafayette-West Lafayette community has taken years to develop a standard of respect and support for our GLBT citizens. Support for this part of the community is clear in the attendance at OUTfest 2009 and the strong backing of the Pride Lafayette Community Center. The Tippecanoe County area is one of a very few in Indiana where sexual orientation is included in non-discrimination ordinances. These advances were hard-won and require effort to maintain the community standards once established. Purdue has also made considerable effort to promote diversity and inclusion. In fact, the university has created a position of Vice Provost for Diversity and Inclusion, which is tasked specifically with creating an inviting campus environment. The current climate on campus was difficult enough to achieve. This level of respect is threatened when staff members so blatantly disrespect and publicly disparage a whole subset of the university body.

Purdue Queer Student Union, ALLY, Delta Lamda Phi, and community organizations Citizens for Civil Rights and Pride Lafayette support anyone's right to speak freely about any topic. But we reject the gross mischaracterizations and untruths contained in Professor Chapman's blog. We urge the campus and community to join us in this condemnation.

Jessica Lee
President of the Purdue Queer Student Union
Senior in College of Liberal Arts

Adam Wright
President of Ally Association
Senior in College of Liberal Arts

Sean Samocki
President of Delta Lambda Phi
Senior in College of Technology

Jo Ann Mullen
President of Citizen for Civil Rights

Bryan Bell
President of Pride Lafayette

12 November 2009

Bert Chapman - Growing

Note - If you want a quick, balanced statement, I would advise the Indy Star article or the FOX 59 video. Also, the local LGBTQ Organizations have issued a statement.

Earlier Updates: 2:34-12Nov, 10:13-12Nov, 10:30-12Nov, 11:05-12Nov, 11:13-12Nov, 11:59-12Nov, 12:03-13Nov, 4:45-13Nov, 9:17-13Nov
Edit @ 11:55am on 14Nov - Queerty Article #2
Edit @ 10:12am on 16Nov - 365 Gay (maintained by LOGO), Exponent Commentary 1 and 2, statement of local organizations
Edit @ 4:08pm on 16Nov - NYU student newspaper and QSU blog
Edit @ 6:04pm on 16Nov - Academic Librarian
Edit @ 12:42pm on 17Nov - Exponent printed LGBTQ Organization statement, Politics and Puck, and Phi Beta Cons

I don't have time to type up all of what is going on, but know that the Indy Star and Fox 59 have both been doing interviews. QSU board media ban has stopped me from talking, but statements have been made by others. Also, QSU signed onto CCR's press release which will occur soon.

Other than that, I thought it best for all those blogging about this situation to bring all of the links I know of together.

The Blog That Started It All

Student Blogs
Me 1
Me 2
Boilercrat Junction 1
Boilercrat Junction 2
Boilercrat Junction 3
Boilercrat Junction 4
Politics and Puck 1
Politics and Puck 2
Politics and Puck 3
Politics and Puck 4
Politics and Puck 5
Politics and Puck 6
The Dark Matter Effect
Blag Hag
Waking Up Now
Justin Harter

Academic Blogs
Academic Librarian

National LGBTQ Media
Queerty 1
Queerty 2
Joe My God
Victoria Advocate (Texas)
LGBTLife on twitter
Back 2 Stonewall
The Advocate
365 Gay

National Media - Other
Everyday Christian
Phi Beta Con (National Review Column)

National Higher Education Media and Other University Newspapers
Inside Higher Ed
NYU Local

National Newspapers
Chicago Tribune (AP article)
United Press International
USA Today (National)
Baltimore Sun (Maryland)

Indiana Newspapers

WTHR (Indianapolis)
FOX 59 (Including QRC in the video)
WSBT2 (South Bend, IN)

Opinions 1
Opinions 2 - 1
Opinions 2 - 2
Opinions 2 - 3
Opinions 3 - Librarians support all members of Purdue Community (I would like to note that the College of Agriculture Librarian is on that list - Marianne Stowell Bracke. Plant Biology is in the College of Agriculture, so I wanted to note that!)
Commentary 1
Opinions 4
Opinions 5
Unpublished Opinions 1
Unpublished Opinions 2
Commentary 2
Commentary 3

Protest Event
Facebook Group

Official Statements
LGBTQ Organizations of the Lafayette Area (on QSU's blog here) (in the Exponent) (in Politics and Puck)

09 November 2009

Bert Chapman Opinion

In an attempt to not undermine any actions being taken by anybody dealing with Bert Chapman (see my previous post on the topic here), the QSU board has decided against having any board member submit an opinion to the Exponent on the topic, however we are allowed to use our own private blogs. Here is what I would send in (trimmed to the 300 word limit) were I to send in an opinion on the topic. Note that this is a response to the second set of opinions on Bert Chapman which state that he was fine in what he did (this opinion and this opinion).


Professor Chapman's blog post was inaccurate. He starts his argument with HIV-AIDS. Unfortunately, he never got the memo that HIV-AIDS is not an exclusively gay disease. HIV is the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, not the Gay Immunodeficiency Virus. HIV-AIDS is also spread by more than just sexual contact. As for the tainted blood supply comment, Gay men have been blocked from donating blood in the US since 1983. Whether or not gay men are able to donate is not going to stop HIV blood testing, precisely because HIV-AIDS is not a gay disease.

It is also interesting that Professor Chapman was unaware of the ease of finding prison rape statistics. I am kind of curious how a professor of library science is unable to find this information. This rings bells of Kevin Casimer's economic argument against librarians.

As for arguing that domestic partner benefits are a further example of how gays and lesbians hurt the economy, I would like to bring up the recent event of an interracial couple being denied marriage. I am certain that money could be saved by not allowing interracial couples to get family insurance benefits, but that does not make that denial acceptable. One could save a large sum of money if all Christians were denied family insurance benefits - does that make it okay?

It is interesting that Professor Chapman chooses to argue against gays and lesbians based on an economic case. Commissions studying the potential economic impact of same-sex marriage in New Jersey and New York have concluded that the economy would benefit from equal marriage. Massachusetts has also claimed an economic gain from equalizing marriage.

Professor Chapman's blog might be using sarcasm to point out why gays and lesbians should be afforded equal rights, as his claims are inaccurate and overstated.


Somewhat in relation to this, Sunday, November 15th, starting at 1:00pm will be an AIDS walk. The walk is starting at the Gold Fields (across from the Co-Rec) on Third Street, and will be a 2 mile walk. $5 is the minimum donation, and there will be free snacks and refreshments. This is hosted by the African Student Association.

Here is a map of the world distorted by HIV-AIDS. I think it has quite an impact on its own.

06 November 2009

Sometimes, lots of things happen! Part III

As lots could go into the next three posts, the following are the contents:
- Bigoted Purdue Professor
- Lady Gaga
- Humans versus Zombies



Humans versus Zombies (zombie tag) has made it to Purdue's campus! The game started Tuesday and goes until Saturday (when the final mission occurs).

Of course, I had to get converted into a zombie on the first day. I was turned near SC and CL50, on my way from WTHR to Smith.

The Exponent has, of course, included a comic for the occasion:

You see, humans wear their bandanna around their arm, and zombies around their forehead (or neck if they are stunned - which occurs when shot with a nerf gun or clean socks). When a human is converted, they have to give an ID number to the zombie, who enters it into the computer. Zombies then have to feed ever 48 hours, and each human feeds 3 zombies.

It has been a lot of fun. The final mission is to stop the people who have hidden in their rooms the entire time. Basically, humans have to get to an extraction point to get airlifted to safety as the idea is the invasion will be bombed.

Zombies have finally passed humans in numbers, but it has gotten really hard to get humans. Luckily, most zombies have been fed so that we won't starve our by Saturday. More later, but here are a few pictures.

Sometimes lots of things happen! Part II

As lots could go into the next three posts, the following are the contents:
- Bigoted Purdue Professor
- Lady Gaga
- Humans versus Zombies


A Celebration of Queer Culture to Ensure:
Lady Gaga

Yes, that is from today's Exponent. It is official, Lady Gaga is coming to Purdue!

Of course, her visit means a complete and total celebration of Queer culture. Camping out in the Stewart Center under the Pride Flag, singing all of the songs a zillion times, and general enjoying the amazingness that is Lady Gaga.

Also, in honor of this occasion, here is my favorite Lady Gaga video. My favorite outfit she has worn is of course the gyroscope:

Anyway, Lady Gaga's shocking style has resonated in many here in Purdue's Queer Community. She has also taken many steps in helping the fight for Queer Equality, claiming that one of the biggest events of her career was speeching at the National Equality March. She often thanks god and the gays for where she has gotten. Lady Gaga even posed for a major Gay magazine - OUT:

Seeing Lady Gaga will be AMAZING, and I am super pumped!

Sometimes, lots of things happen! Part I

As lots could go into the next three posts, the following are the contents:
- Bigoted Purdue Professor
- Lady Gaga
- Humans versus Zombies


Bigots for Professors

Bert Chapman, a "professor" of Library Science, has posted a very homophobic blog post about his supposed "economic case against homosexuality." Several student blogs have picked up on this story, and basically point out how the professor is a) not using facts at all, b) bigoted, and c) out of line. You can read some of the other posts at Blag Hag, Boilercrat Junction, The Dark Matter Effect, and Politics and Puck. The blog has also been picked up on national gay blogs, most notable Queerty. LGBTLife on Twitter had multiple tweets about this incident.

The professor is blatantly incorrect. The information is incredibly easy to find. And besides, even if some of his points are true that doesn't make them right. I am sure companies could save money if they didn't give insurance benefits to interracial couples or non-Christian couples, but that doesn't make it okay.

Three Opinions Page of the Exponent has printed three so far (1, 2, and 3 are all listed in that one link).

Stay tuned for the next posts today!...

04 November 2009

And then Maine happened.

"In a disappointing defeat for advocates of freedom, choice and limited government everywhere, voters in Maine overturned a state law allowing Mainers to choose who they marry." (source). But then again, how could we compete? I mean a veteran and happy family against people with big signs claiming gays and lesbians are possessed by demons? I mean come on, these "Yes on 1, No on Equality" things just wanted to protect marriage*.

*But only if you are a couple composed on one Christian man and one Christian woman, Christian being defined as any church believing in the teachings of Jesus Christ except the love, hope, and acceptance that he preached.