On March 20, National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy will speak at her alma mater, Loyola Law School in New Orleans.  The local bishop, Archbishop Alfred Hughes, is opposed to her speaking engagement, citing her commitment to abortion rights as contrary to the Church’s teachings.  Gandy, in return, has accused the archbishop of “urging my law school to do away with traditional academic freedom of speech and replace the free exchange of ideas with religious doctrine.”  She added, “I imagine that Archbishop Hughes finds this flame-throwing a welcome relief from the heat of Church cover-ups of pedophilia.”

Catholic League president William Donohue sounded off on this today:

“Nazi deniers are not welcome to speak at Yeshiva University, racists are not welcome to speak at Howard University and abortion-rights activists are not welcome to speak at Catholic universities.  But in fact Kim Gandy is going to speak at a Catholic university.  So much for the myth that the Catholic Church is a dictatorship.  In any event, Archbishop Hughes is wholly within his rights in objecting to Gandy’s speaking engagement: he no doubt would object if an anti-Semite or racist were invited to speak as well.

“In the last month, we learned that Laura Bush was forced to withdraw from speaking at UCLA because some faculty members objected to her views.  Similarly, we learned that an orchestrated attempt is being made to unseat SUNY trustee Candace deRussy because some faculty members don’t like her views.  Yet those making the objections are rarely accused of stifling free speech.  The double standard never ends.

“Gandy revealed her hand with her snide remark about the protest against her being a ‘welcome relief from the heat of Church cover-ups of pedophilia.’  We have news for her: no matter how bad problems are in the Church, the Catholic League will not allow bigots like her to make us a punching bag.  We’re in this fight for the long run.”

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