September 24, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On September 15, 2009, StandForMarriageMaine.com released a television ad which featured Scott Fitzgibbon, a professor at Boston College Law School, arguing in defense of marriage between one man and one woman. He encouraged Maine voters to vote "yes" on an upcoming ballot referendum which aims to overturn state legislation which legalized homosexual "marriage" last May.
Complaints from fellow faculty members at Boston College, a Jesuit-affiliated school, soon began piling up. Merely one day after the ad aired, Boston College Law Dean John Garvey issued a letter to the BC law community, writing, "Several of you have contacted my office to express your anger at Scott's actions, and it is hard for me to see any of our students, faculty, or staff offended or hurt by the words of others."
Rather than praising Fitzgibbon's public defense of a Catholic teaching, Dean Garvey wrote that Fitzgibbon's "public statements represent his own opinions ... and do not state any official position of Boston College Law School." Garvey defended Fitzgibbons' participation in the advertisement but also seemed to welcome faculty opposition to Catholic teaching.
"We also have faculty members who hold a contrary view, which they too are free to express publicly," he wrote. "Many have done so while referring to themselves as BC Law professors. One of them has publicly led the fight to oppose the Solomon Amendment on the grounds that it is an affront to gay and lesbian students and prospective members of the U.S. military. Others have taken controversial positions on such subjects as abortion, euthanasia, and the treatment of detainees."
Three days after Fitzgibbon's pro-traditional marriage ad aired, a group of 76 "Individual Faculty and Administrators at Boston College Law School," including Dean Garvey, issued the following statement : "The undersigned members of the faculty and administration at Boston College Law School feel that it is important to reaffirm our belief in the equality of all of our students. We are proud of the fact that Boston College Law School was one of the first law schools in the country to include sexual orientation in its non-discrimination pledge, and we reaffirm our commitment to making our institution a welcome and safe place for all students, including LGBT students."