Santa Clara University

The-Big-Q_Header_4
 

The Big Q

Back to Blog

Poster Wars: According to Cameron

Wednesday, Mar. 30, 2011

Mary puts up a poster on her dorm room door opposing gay marriage. James, a floormate, finds it offensive. What should happen?

Read the full case

Mary is well within her rights to post her “Yes on Prop 8” poster. Though I do not agree with her opinion, I believe she should be allowed to express it, as long as she does so in a civil way. Mary is not forcing her opinion on anyone, and she is not speaking out against the gay community.

I think James is overreacting to Mary’s opinion because it conflicts with his own. By trying to force Mary to take her poster down, James is being extremely hypocritical. Mary could easily turn James’ own argument against him, and say she is offended by his opinion and demand that he take down all of his posters.

There is a clear difference between open prejudice and an expression of opinion or support for a certain viewpoint. Even as a supporter of gay rights, including the right to marry a person of the same sex, I think it is extremely important that no opinion (except overly hateful or clearly offensive displays) be suppressed. After all, if both James and Mary and their respective parties were not able to express their opinions, none of them would have any say in the matter whatsoever. I doubt this would be appealing to James, seeing as the very rights he is campaigning for were the product of the right to free speech, the same free speech that Mary is entitled to.

Who is Cameron Tow?

Agree with Cameron?  Think he has it all wrong?  Post your comment for the chance to win $50 prize for best student response.  Rules

Photo by Dana Rocks available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial License.

Photo used under creative commons from Dana Rocks

Comments Comments

Post a Comment

Tags: Cameron Tow, dorm, free speech, residence hall