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Noted without comment

- August 26, 2008

“David Glenn”:http://chronicle.com/news/article/5056/yet-another-political-science-conference-site-comes-under-scrutiny in the _Chronicle._

bq. As the American Political Science Association prepares to meet in Boston this week, a small network of scholars — including a pair of high-profile social conservatives — is circulating a “petition”:http://www.freestudies.org/torontopetition.html asking the association to think carefully about its plans to meet in Toronto next year.

bq. At issue are Canada’s federal and provincial human-rights commissions, which have recently been accused of trampling on free speech. In a decision last May, the Alberta Human Rights and Citizenship Commission ordered a right-wing Christian organization to “cease publishing in newspapers, by e-mail, on the radio, in public speeches, or on the Internet, in future, disparaging remarks about gays and homosexuals.” And Maclean’s, the Canadian newsweekly, was brought before a British Columbia tribunal in June for publishing an allegedly anti-Muslim article; the tribunal has not yet issued a ruling.

bq. The political-science petition, whose initial signers include Robert P. George, a professor of jurisprudence at Princeton University, and Harvey C. Mansfield, a professor of government at Harvard University, warns that scholars visiting Toronto might face legal jeopardy if they made controversial statements. Scholars should be able to speak about “public policy concerning homosexuality or the character of and proper response to terrorist elements acting in the name of Islam, without fear of legal repercussions of any kind,” the petition reads.

bq. The campaign has the flavor of a boycott. According to a report in the National Post, the petition’s authors plan to distribute buttons at this week’s conference that say “Toronto 2009? Non!”