Letter to the editor: Barkley needs reprimand

I am a USC Lambda LGBT Alumni Association board member.

I believe wholeheartedly that it is incumbent upon the Daily Trojan to provide coverage of Matt Barkley’s Twitter comment on Feb. 26 in which he pronounced that he was, “…SMH [Shaking My Head],” with regard to the Obama Administration’s subsequent refusal to continue defending the Defense of Marriage Act and of his tweet about not being a homophobe.

Every LGBT publication online reported the unfortunate comment and USC was painted in a poor light as a result.

This ignores the fact that the university is consistently rated as a top gay-friendly university by multiple publications for a decade running.

If Barkley had made the same comment about the administration’s refusal to defend a governmental policy backing a ban on interracial marriage, the proverbial “caca” would have hit the fan.

A failure to cover the issue is in my mind cowardly and journalistically unethical.

Barkley has a bit more to learn about the Trojan Family, its spirit of diversity and inclusiveness and its position of leadership in being connected to the larger City of Los Angeles (its LGBT community) and the world.

That comment might be acceptable in other places, but most definitely not in Los Angeles, and unequivocally not at USC, the home of a multitude of LGBT alumni and the ONE Institute, the largest LGBT archive in the world.

I feel that President C. L. Max Nikias needs to come out and address the issue head on.

The fact that Barkley’s a star quarterback is more, not less, reason for calling him out on his ignorance and prejudice.

Dr. Christopher Eaton

Ed.D. 2007

11 replies
  1. Chance
    Chance says:

    This is ridiculous. Christopher is talking about USC being so diverse and accepting; however, opinions on Gay Marriage cannot be diverse and we cannot be accepting of another’s opinion based on his faith? Equating Gay marriage and inter-racial marriage is preposterous. They are completely different for obvious reasons.

    Matt is entitled to his own opinion and should not be chastised for his opinions not being perfectly aligned with LGBT’s. Especially on his own personal website. He is the USC quarterback, but he is also a college student. Nowhere does it say that he cannot voice his own opinions on his website.

  2. anon gay
    anon gay says:

    Coming from an open and active LGBT student on campus, I don’t feel like USC is very gay friendly at all. More like gay tolerant. And I know I’m not the only one. This issue has come up more than once and has had entire discussion at URap, University Rap, a weekly confidential LGBT discussion group, dedicated to it. Maybe this tweet by Barkley is actually more representative of USC than we’d hope it is and that’s the most shocking part about it.

  3. Tom
    Tom says:

    My favorite quote is, “An opinion is worth only what you pay for it… nothing”. Matt and Christopher are entitled to their opinions and to share them equally without provocation. Where Christopher stepped over the line is in trying to force his opinion on others by chastising Matt’s opinion.

    The truth is that regardless of USC’s proud history as a gay friendly campus and accepting all students, that the LGBT community is still a minority in the United States and that not everyone shares their beliefs for gay marriage. The question for Christopher is why should his belief for gay marriage be pushed on others who don’t share that belief, and what entitles him to chastise those who don’t share the same beliefs?

    I personally believe that all people should be allowed the same rights and benefits regardless if they are in heterosexual or homosexual relationships. But I don’t believe that the word “marriage” should be forced to be used universally for all relationships. I have no problem with the LGBT community finding another word like “Partnership”, “Union”, etc. and have the government recognize this definition and receive all the same benefits that are allowed to a “Marriage”. But I don’t think it is right for a minority group to push their belief that their relationship, where they can’t naturally reproduce or build a family unit with two people of the opposite sex, is the same definition of marriage that we have had for thousands of years.

    That’s my opinion, and it’s worth exactly what you paid for it.

    • Anon
      Anon says:

      This ultimately is the best solution to the gay “marriage issue” in my opinion as well. Let’s get government out of the picture and let the church officiate “marriage” ceremonies while the government issues civil union licenses which benefit the recipients with the legal rights that entails.

      On the note of what Barkely said, I am a strong supporter of equality (including gay rights) and at the same time also a supporter of freedom of speech. Barkely was expressing an opinion in a personal medium (person twitter account), not on behalf of USC while at a USC related press conference or through an official USC twitter account. I feel that if Barkely had in fact mentioned USC in his tweet or tried to reference that the school and student body shared his opinion, then maybe this would be a big deal and would have blown up.

  4. Suni Ellis
    Suni Ellis says:

    After reading the Daily Trojan for years, I have noticed that there is an LGBT-related article published nearly every day.

    There is no other group on campus that gets so much attention, so it seems odd to me that this author is trying to point out feeling ‘snubbed’ because there wasn’t yet another lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender piece written for the Trojan community.

    When will enough be enough? Do we need a dedicated page for gender/sexual identity/preferences?

    Suni Ellis

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous says:

      I’m hopeful that the situation will improve when there’s a new editor next year. The current one is more biased (and less skilled) than Bill Keller.

  5. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Matt is a great guy who stands up for his faith and his beliefs. He is intimately connected to many people, and he has done some incredibly generous things with his time and energy. He can (and should) say what he wants.

    And I’ll say the same things here, too, as a proud USC student and member of the Trojan family: I don’t think gay people should get married. Period.

    (Of course, an intelligent person would note that Matt was merely commenting on the Obama administration’s decision not to follow its constitutional duty to enforce laws. But that would be too subtle a reading for people who only ever studied how to “educate.”)

  6. andre
    andre says:

    As an individual citizen, he is entitled to his opinion and the right to twitter it.

    Thank goodness, so are you–score—even.

Comments are closed.