An Open Letter to Carl Monk:

Professor Bainbridge has written an open letter to AALS Executive Director Carl Monk on the proposed boycott of one of the hotels under contract for the AALS annual meeting in San Diego. It nicely summarizes why the AALS should not — indeed, cannot — acquiesce to the proposed boycott if it is to remain a principled academic association dedicated, among other things, to open academic inquiry, freedom of conscience, and freedom of expression. His letter concludes:

it is especially critical that the AALS acknowledge that there is no issue of discrimination here. There is no evidence that the hotel in question discriminates against gays. Instead, this is viewpoint discrimination on the part of a handful of activists who are seeking to hijack the AALS for purposes of holding a boycott intended to punish someone with whose views on a contested issue of public policy they differ. If the AALS caves to the critics, it will have allowed a vocal contingent to hijack a purportedly diverse organization for the ends of a particular point of view that may not be shared by all members of the organization.

Note that I endorse Prof. Bainbridge's sentiments even though I support gay marriage (largely due to the work of my co-blogger Dale Carpenter). I believe that the institution of marriage and its associated blessings should be shared with same-sex couples. But I also believe that it would be unconscionable for a purportedly academic association to endorse the view that opposition to the imposition of gay marriage by judicial fiat, in and of itself, constitutes "discrimination" against homosexuals and that such views are beyond the pale of acceptability within such an organization.