Thursday, October 22, 2009

Letter to a Disingenuous Law Professor

Professor Teresa Stanton Collett
University of St. Thomas School of Law
1000 LaSalle Avenue, MSL 400
Minneapolis, MN 55403-2015

October 22, 2009

Dear Ms. Collett,

I am writing to you in reference to a Panel Discussion you spoke at on "California Same-sex Marriage: The Impact on Religious Liberty" that took place July 10, 2008 hosted by the Family Research Council. I know that was over a year ago, but I only recently started looking into the arguments that those against same-sex marriage are wielding. I am very concerned with the data you used during your time speaking, concerned enough to seek clarification from you. I am using a video recording of the event hosted on the FRC's website at the following URL:

While making the argument that the Goodrich Opinion impacts one's religious liberty, you bring up the David Parker case. Specifically, you state that Mr. Parker went to his child's school to request that his child be exempted from classroom instruction on the "definition of family". You go on to explain that the Principal of the school had been instructed from the Superintendent of the school district that no children would be excluded from the curriculum. Then you state that when Mr. Parker objected, that the school officials called the Police, and that Mr. Parker was arrested, and taken to jail. All of that "appears" to be consistent with the facts of the case.

What really concerns me though, are the facts that you omitted about why Mr. Parker was arrested, and later charged by the District Attorney. You had to know that when Mr. Parker's request to exempt his son from the curriculum was denied, that Mr. Parker refused to leave the school. That the reason the Principal called the Police was he needed for Mr. Parker to vacate the school so that it could be closed and secured for the night and Mr. Parker was refusing to leave. You had to know that Mr. Parker was arrested for trespassing.

Because you did not truthfully state the facts of this case, you allowed your audience to assume that Mr. Parker was arrested due to his religious convictions, and that the District Attorney went on to prosecute Mr. Parker for believing that gay marriage is wrong.

I realize that the entire so called "defense of marriage" movement has been quick to exploit Mr. Parker's stunt, but when a whole lot of people lie, it does not make it any more right.

Ms. Collett, do you believe that your misrepresentation of the Parker case during that panel discussion is in any way justified? Do you believe that lying to people in order to persuade them that their beliefs are being persecuted is helpful in any way to any one?

How can you teach classes on ethics or responsibility, and then lie, in public, at a recorded, professional, "expert" panel discussion?

Your actions hurt your credibility and the University of St. Thomas.

Please feel free to explain your point of view if you disagree with my characterization.


George Bingham

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