Diversity at U of T: Diversity of Opinion Should be Encouraged

January 2004

In his commentary Celebrating Sexual Minorities President Robert Birgeneau asks how comfortable LGBTQ students feel at the University of Toronto in comparison with heterosexual students (Forum, Oct. 20). Perhaps he might better ask how comfortable certain other minorities feel at the University of Toronto.

Proponents of traditional marriage and of abstinence outside of marriage are consistently attacked, belittled and ostracized on campus. They are called “bigots,” “homophobes” and even “racists.” They are condemned merely for espousing their belief (often religiously held belief) that the sexual act should occur only within marriage between a man and a woman. President Birgeneau describes such people as having “inflexible opinions” and “dissenting views.” Such words make these people wonder whether they have to sit at the back of the bus or perhaps even whether they’re allowed on the bus at all.

If President Birgeneau really believed in diversity, he would encourage a variety of opinions and views on this issue. But he doesn’t believe in diversity; he thinks everybody should agree with him.