Screen shot 2013-06-04 at 5.04.34 PMA controversial anti-homosexual legal scholar has drawn fire from students and gay rights advocates after being invited to give a lecture on same-sex marriage at a Catholic university in Perth.

John Finnis, a Professor of Law at Oxford’s University College and the University of Notre Dame, is the author of a theory of ‘natural law’ that asserts a severely conservative view on homosexuality and other contentious issues such as abortion and contraception.

“Those who propound ‘gay’ ideology have no principled moral case to offer against (prudent and moderate) promiscuity, indeed the getting of orgasmic sexual pleasure in whatever friendly touch or welcoming orifice (human or otherwise) one may opportunely find it,” Finnis wrote in one of his essays.

Finnis was giving a guest lecture in Tannock Hall on the University of Notre Dame’s Fremantle campus on Wednesday where he was invited to give a talk by university management. The lecture was advertised to students in a campus-wide email, attracting condemnation from students opposed to Finnis’ anti-gay views.

Curtin Student Guild queer officer Khyl Hardy called Finnis a “fringe loony” and urged gay rights supporters to protest against his presence on-campus.

“The bigots in Australia are an isolated minority,” said Hardy. “The Notre Dame University management needs to know that students and the wider community will not stand idly by while they promote homophobia on campus.”

The protest was largely organised by Free Speech at Notre Dame, a student protest group formed in response to Notre Dame’s refusal to allow student organisations that support gay rights, abortion or the use of contraception to affiliate with the university.

Equal Love WA spokesman Sam Cavallaro, who helped organise the protest, said the growing dissatisfaction of LGBTI and LGBTI-friendly students was “coming to a head” at the Finnis demonstration.

“John Finnis is a notorious bigot,” said Cavallaro. “His presence at Notre Dame is detrimental to the entire student body, especially those students of diverse genders and sexualities.”
Photo:  nd.edu.au, Frances Andrijich and Acorn Photo Agency

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