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Ryerson Students Against Margaret Somerville

Every year Ryerson University honours various influencial citizens with honourary degrees. While not every year can as inspiring as past recipient, Nelson Mandela, this year's recipient is bound to turn some heads and draw some crowd hecklers.

Today, Ryerson Student Union president, Sheldon Levy, along with undersigned student leaders, sent out a letter imploring students and supporters to sign an online petition asking for the disinvitation of Somerville from the degree ceremony.

Quoting Levy:

"For those of you who do not know Margaret Somerville, she is a McGill University ethicist and is widely known for her controversial views on same-sex marriage. In both the public and academic spheres Somerville has argued that same-sex marriage, "compromises the right for all children to be raised by both genders and to know their biological parents".

Her argument not only ignores the fact that marriage is much more than just procreation and childrearing for both heterosexual and homosexual couples, but it also fails to acknowledge that children of single parents families, adopted children or those conceived through reproductive technologies (NRTs) may also be unable to identify their biological parents. On numerous occasions, Somerville described marriage as a symbol of procreation and said that gay marriage destroys that role."

In the hour since receiving the e-mail, near 500 signatures have been gathered via online petition.

The university has remained firm on their ground, citing "free speech" in defense of the decision. It remains to be seen how things will play out in the days leading up to the ceremony.

Image from the McGill Reporter.


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