Personal and religious views
No that’s not right.
The ACLU sued in January, and Smoak ruled this summer that Davis violated Heather Gillman’s rights. “I emphasize that Davis’s personal and religious views about homosexuality are not issues in this case. Indeed, Davis’s opinions and views are consistent with the beliefs of many in Holmes County, in Florida, and in the country,” Smoak wrote in an opinion released last month. “Where Davis went wrong was when he endeavoured to silence the opinions of his dissenters.”
But that doesn’t work. Davis’s personal and religious views about homosexuality are issues in this case. They’re an issue because they’re not sufficiently convincing or justified or universal or defensible to justify his actions. If they had been, they would be. If the student had been violent, or threatening, or a cheater, then the principle would be both permitted and right to discipline her. The reason he doesn’t get to discipline her for being gay is that the law has evolved in response to general societal acceptance of the idea that homosexuality doesn’t actually harm anyone and shouldn’t be treated as a crime. Davis’s personal and religious views are that homosexuality does do harm (though it’s never very clear to whom, when Christians get in a lather about the subject) and should be treated as a crime. So his views are an issue and they are being set aside. As they should be – and it’s no good pretending they aren’t.