The Badger Herald has a point. Maybe it would be more appropriate for ASM to stay out of national affairs. And if ASM were to fully fund the travel expenses for students to participate in every worthy cause in D.C. we’d probably have to start paying six figure tuition bills.
However, the Herald editorial was, in all frankness, disturbing. The ed board invoked a series of ideological arguments against ASM’s expression of support in favor of the gay rights march in Washington.
It is easy to forget, as students at the University of Wisconsin, that what seems politically black-and-white to student leaders has many shades of gray for the average student. And while our students and broader culture mull over an issue as agonizingly complex as same-sex marriage — an issue that immediately implicates religion, culture, moral conceptions and constitutional interpretation — the members of Student Council have an ethical responsibility to withhold public statement.
Agonizingly complex? How? The agony in the issue come from cultural reluctance to accept homosexuality, not from an extraordinarily difficult legal decision. The Herald seems to imply that gay marriage is inherently dubious constitutionally, as if a rational interpretation of the U.S. Constitution could somehow lead to the conclusion that gay marriage is unconstitutional. That is only the case in Wisconsin, which the march in Washington has nothing to do with.
It is bad enough that a conservative student could easily get the impression that our university administration has formally endorsed the full gamut of same-sex rights proposed by activists, and that they are expected to follow suit.
Is it? What’s worse is the impression some students may get that the largest paper on campus is passing judgement on civil rights issues based on the cultural and religious views of members of the editorial board. Nobody who believes in the secular tradition of American government would invoke “religion” in the discussion of a civil rights matter.