The gay community considers the recent legalization of same-sex marriage an important step in achieving equality for gay couples.
Dr. W.K. Mott, associate professor of political science who has taught a course that examines the issue, said that a large number of students are in the dark on issues of sexual orientation.
“My experience is that that queer theory is something that most students in Seton Hall never encounter,” he said. “Whether one agrees with these ideas or not, a University should present all perspectives and permit discourse and debate. I think that most minority studies are underrepresented here.”
Mott is scheduled to teach the course on gay marriage in the spring. He said that he believes that despite its low level awareness on campus, the legalization of same-sex marriage is an issue the Seton Hall community should discuss.
“Every step forward towards fuller expression of equal protection before the law brings great tolerance from all areas of civil society,” he said. “I think it’s lost on many that the ‘march of liberty’ is a secular idea, but an idea that permits all sorts of individual religious expression. Gay rights are human rights, and the common law certainly is moving towards that paradigm.”
Mott said that polls show Catholics to be one of the groups most in favor of gay marriage. “Religious communities should feel no encumbrance from great individual freedom and legal protection,” he said.
Although same-sex marriage remains controversial, Mott said, New Jersey’s demographics have been in favor of gay marriage for a while.
He said in addition to the slow-moving process of law and politics, what held same-sex marriage legislation back were fears and prejudices such as homophobia, erotiphobia, racism and misogyny. The course on gay marriage is offered for Spring semester.
Eric Hostettler can be reached at eric.hostet- firstname.lastname@example.org.