A Los Angeles City College student sued the college recently after his professor allegedly called him a “fascist” and refused to let him finish an in-class speech opposing same-sex marriage. According to the student, who is a Christian, the professor told him to “ask God what your grade is” and threatened to expel him when he complained to campus authorities. Some of the students’ classmates were reportedly offended by the speech, however, and the dean quoted one of them accusing the student of “preaching hate in the classroom.” Should students always be allowed to voice their religious views in class, or do comments of this nature ever cross the line into hate speech?
I believe students should be free to voice relevant religious beliefs in class as long as they are presented in a courteous, thoughtful manner. I fail to see how expressing opposition to same-sex marriage can be considered hateful in itself. There are legitimate opinions on both sides of this issue, and individuals on opposing sides of the debate should have an equal opportunity to state their views.