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Advocacy Recap: Part II

Last week, we looked back at the US government's handling of  G20 summit protesters and pro-democracy bloggers in Vietnam facing persecution. Now let us talk about the Purdue University Professor who faced intense criticism for his views on homosexuality and Turkey's YouTube ban.

Professor Bert Chapman, a Government Information and Political Science Librarian, maintains a blog at Townhall.com titled Conservative Librarian. On October 27, he posted “An Economic Case Against Homosexuality”

“As a Christian, I agree with the biblical condemnation of the homosexual lifestyle. However, we are living in a nation and world that increasingly rejects biblical norms. To defend traditional sexual morality against the encroaching threat of homosexuality and other aberrant forms of sexual expression, we need to be able to do more than cite Bible verses. Fortunately, there are plenty of economic reasons for being against this lifestyle and I think as conservatives we need to be able to articulate why our nation cannot afford the extremely high financial costs of this lifestyle at a time when we are confronting dangerously high budget deficits, national debt, and personal debt.”

While some criticized the professor's post for being anti-gay and called for the University to fire him, there were more than handful of those who supported his rights to free expression and said that calling for his firing is attacking First Amendment rights.

Professor Chapman is still blogging at Conservative Librarian. Purdue University did not take any action against him. Going through his blog, I did not find any post regarding gays and lesbians after the controversial “An Economic Case Against Homosexuality”. The professor has stayed close to politics and international affairs.

On October 5, 2009, I discussed free speech issues in Turkey.

“Decision to block MySpace is not first step in Turkey's decision to police the internet. In 2008, blog host Blogger(owned by Google),popular video sharing site YouTube and about 850 sites were banned, according to a report published at The Christian science Monitor.

Decision to ban YouTube came after an “insulting” video on the country's founder Mustafa Kemal Atatürk appeared on the site.”

In November of 2010, just days after lifting ban on YouTube, Turkey re-instated the ban after a sex scandal. Los Angeles Times reported,

“Turkey has reimposed a ban on YouTube after the site refused to remove footage linked to a political sex scandal that erupted earlier this year.

The ban was reinstated just days after being lifted following a similar disagreement over videos, deemed illegal by authorities, that make fun of Turkey's founding figure Mustafa Kamel Ataturk.”

But a positive news from the region, recently Syria has decided to allow direct access to YouTube and Facebook-following turmoil in Egypt. According to AFP,

“In Damascus, Internet users said that for the first time since 2007, Syrians could directly log onto Facebook and YouTube without going through proxy servers abroad.

The authorities issued no statements regarding the development, but Syria's leading media and technology entrepreneur, Abdulsalam Haykal, told AFP that the request to lift the block “had reached Internet service providers.”

Let us hope that Turkey will  re-evaluate its decision soon.

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