Mikey sent me a link, but before I post it, I want to give some background.
I went to Penn State, but from the time I was a sophomore in high school until I decided to go to Penn State, I was planning to go to the United States Naval Academy. I had my congressional appointment, passed my physical fitness test, and was accepted. I have to admit that a lot of the appeal to me was the opportunity to go to college for free, but in the end I turned down USNA and went to Penn State with *no* scholarship or grant funds. As I've mentioned, I'm still paying off my loans (even though my second NJCLASS loan is paid off!), so although I have no regrets about my choice, it definitely had a financial impact.
Ok, now some Penn State history. When I arrived in State College, I didn't know anyone that was openly gay. When I was a frosh, the Collegian had articles almost daily about the gay advocacy group (their acronym has since changed multiple times, but I think it was LGBSA then). They were pushing the administration to add sexual orientation to the University's non-discrimination clause. My memory may not be completely reliable here, but I remember at the time one of the sticking points was that other universities that were specifically adding sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy were then having their ROTC programs challenged. I could be wrong, but I think at the time UPenn decided to remove ROTC from campus. Penn State wrote a policy with a specific exception for ROTC, and adopted the new text.
Well, something like two years later, a new group popped up on campus, and their stated goal was to get ROTC banished from campus. At the time I was a member of student government, and I was annoyed. My feeling was in their quest for rights, this new student group was, if they were successful, going to really hurt those students who, like me, saw military service as a way to get a free education. So, I went to my student government meeting, and I proposed the following: We send these students a letter which would point out that getting ROTC banished from campus would only serve to punish those students who had nothing to do with the military's policy on homosexuality. I suggested that instead, this new student group make their focus a national lobbying campaign.
Let me tell you, I had *no* idea what I had just stepped into. Something like 100 or 200 students showed up to tell me how I was an evil, vile homophobe. A fellow student who used to campaign with me for our seats voted against me (after telling me she supported my proposal), and after that we pretty much stopped talking. Mike, you're going to need to be careful you aren't drinking anything when you read this next sentence, but I was accused of being a horrible conservative monster that didn't understand the liberal cause of gay rights.
So, at that point, I was starting to get more serious about my research anyway, so that gave me the impetus to quit student government and devote my full attention to astronomy.
The story doesn't end there, though (although maybe anyone who has gotten this far hopes it will soon). Shannon was admitted to an honor society, and one of the guys from the group that wanted to ban ROTC was in it, too. When it came time to choose next year's class, Shan submitted my name, and the other guy submitted his boyfriend's name. Shan and I both knew his boyfriend, and we both got along with him well. So it is time to vote, and the vote on me was something like 14-1. Can you guess who voted against me? His reasoning was that he couldn't vote for an evil homophobe to be a classmate of his boyfriend. Shan pointed out that in fact I was on very good terms with this guy's boyfriend, and that he had no objection to being a classmate of mine. Not good enough! I opposed banning ROTC, so I must hate gay people, Q.E.D., the vote stood and I was kept out of this particular group.
I will admit to thinking that this particular gay man that I went to school with was an obnoxious moron. I didn't know him well enough to hate him, but you could say I disliked him strongly.
Ok. So back to the Meech story. Obviously, you've heard that Tim Hardaway hates gay people. However, I read one good response
that quotes John's eloquent response. Mikey emailed me a link to a different take on the Hardaway comments
, and the author makes the point that you don't have to like individual homosexuals, but that doesn't mean you need to oppose their civil rights. I agree. However, my experience is that the opposite is true, too. Gay people don't have to like all of us straight folks, either, but opposing poorly conceived proposals by gay advocates doesn't equal homophobia. I think I was pretty unfairly treated all those years ago -- believing that ROTC has a place on campus doesn't mean that I hate gays, but that's what I was told.