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Archive for Saturday, September 22, 1990

PHELPS TRIES TO JOIN DEBATE OVER ROTC

September 22, 1990

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The Rev. Fred Phelps advocated vigorous public debate during his failed bid this year for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

He's no longer sparring as a candidate, but he's looking for someone to debate Pentagon policy and the role of ROTC on campus.

Phelps invited Ted Frederickson, associate professor of journalism, to a friendly verbal duel on the issue of "homosexuals and the military."

Frederickson said he doesn't intend to debate Phelps.

Undeterred, Phelps said he's willing to go toe-to-toe with any member of the faculty. The public deserves to be enlightened, he said.

The "saber-rattling" faculty who endorse homosexuality while pulling down "fat" salaries shouldn't "remain cloistered," Phelps said.

Frederickson was apparently the target because he criticized Chancellor Gene Budig's decision to allow ROTC to continue to have commissioning ceremonies on campus.

A KU governance group voted against having the Reserve Officer Training Corps event on campus because the Defense Department won't commission homosexuals.

Frederickson said the DOD directive violates KU regulations that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Phelps said "gays and lesbians no more deserve the protection of anti-discrimination laws than voluntary practitioners of any other form of forbidden kinky sex."

Another ROTC-related issue which is being voted on by KU faculty is whether to allow ROTC classes to be counted toward minimum graduation requirements. Faculty are voting by mail and are due in by 5 p.m. Monday. Budig said he will uphold the faculty vote on whether to count ROTC credits toward graduation.

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