Villanova Cancels Gay Performer's Workshop Over Conflict with Catholic 'Values'
Villanova University has canceled a weeklong workshop by gay performance artist Tim Miller, releasing a statement that his performances are "not in keeping with our Catholic and Augustinian values and mission," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
Heidi Rose, the assistant professor of communications who booked the residency months ago and is a member of the university's Gay Straight Coalition, said Monday morning that she had been told by university officials not to talk about the event and to refer inquiries to the communications office. Miller said it was Rose who told him the workshop was canceled. Rose was quoted by CatholicCulture.org as saying the April 16 to 21 workshop would "take you through an intimate process of self-discovery and exploration, focusing on identity and culture, questions of diversity and difference, knowledge of self and others, etc."
A statement put out by the University on Monday reads:
"Villanova University embraces intellectual freedom and academic discourse. Indeed, it is at the very heart of our University and our Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition. With regard to the forthcoming residency and performance workshops by Tim Miller, we had concerns that his performances were not in keeping with our Catholic and Augustinian values and mission. Therefore, Villanova has decided not to host Mr. Miller on our campus. Villanova University is an open and inclusive community and in no way does this singular decision change that."
Miller said that Villanova's rejection was the result of a campaign by Catholic blogs: "[spreading] this bizarre lie that I'm anti-Catholic ... People tell these lies and it gets people who read these blogs worked up."
He added: "Times have changed. We're in a much more coercive, censorious time."
Curtains at Villanova for gay performance artist [philly.com]
Watch a couple clips (possibly nsfw) of Miller, AFTER THE JUMP...