Updated: Monday, 26 Oct 2009, 11:26 PM EDT
Published : Monday, 26 Oct 2009, 4:30 PM EDT
HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - Director of "Milk" Dustin Lance Black is in West Michigan and some Hope College students want him to speak at a large-scale forum. But some administrators have said no.
"Milk" is the biopic of slain gay politician Harvey Milk. Black is in town to direct another film, "What's wrong with Virginia?"
He is more than welcome to speak in a classroom lecture setting, where more dialogue and learning could take place, Hope College representatives say. But a large-scale forum is a different story.
"It's going to be a circus where people are going to be hurt, and for me in my role as dean, I'm concerned for all students," said Richard Frost, the Hope dean of students.
A few weeks ago, Hope students held a rally on gay rights. They say it got heated. But regardless, many students said they would like to hear Black speak at a forum.
"More of us want to talk about it ... probably a good number on campus," said Robin Baker, a senior.
Gay rights also are an issue at Calvin College. Faculty members received a memo banning them from speaking against Christian Reformed teachings on homosexuality.
The church supports members' sexual orientation but says the practice of homosexuality is sinful. Professors always are sensitive about academic freedom, but some say this goes beyond that.
"There is a range of views but I would say the faculty is pretty unanimous on the fact that the process was badly handled in that the board probably should not have unilaterally decided on a policy that seemed to be new applying to all the faculty," said Karin Maag, of the Calvin Faculty Senate.
On Monday night, the Calvin College board said the memo was not an attempt to change school policy and it regrets any confusion. It plans to revise the May statement and meet with staff, gay activists and possibly the church synod to work out school policy.