With encouragement from the American Family
Association, some regents tried to get the course canceled. They
felt Distinguished Professor David Halperin, the teacher, was
using the course, whose full title is “How to Be Gay: Male
Homosexuality and Initiation,” to recruit people to a gay
lifestyle, and that the title reflected that intention.
Apparently, criticism was based on the title, not any perusal of
the course’s content. The course had been approved by the English
department and other relevant curriculum committees.

This course is still scheduled to be taught in the fall of 2000.
At a meeting with the President, who commented favorably about
the course, no regent actually expressed an objection to the
course, and no pressure was exerted on the English Department by
anyone connected to the University. The Director of Undergraduate
Studies has stated, “I find it profoundly disrespectful of our students
to imagine that their own identities and their own minds are so
poorly formed and so much at the whim of a professor’s
intervention that an upper-level English course could affect
something so fundamental as a professor’s sexual orientation.”
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