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State Refuses To Pay Peter Singer For Appearance
by Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
This article is reproduced here under special arrangement with Inclusion Daily Express Email News Service.

CONCORD, NH, Sept. 22, 2001 --The Governor's Commission on Disability will hold a fall conference in Concord in two weeks, and will have controversial bioethicist Peter Singer as keynote speaker. The state, however, will not pay Singer's $2,000 speaking fee.

On Wednesday, the state Executive Council voted against paying Singer after some of its members said they believed the state should not underwrite Singer's appearance because of his public views on euthanasia and assisted suicide.

The Princeton University professor is well known because of his belief that people who are not "self-aware" -- including, he says, people with severe disabilities and children up to one month of age -- should be allowed to be put to death.

Michael Jenkins, executive director of the Governor's Commission on Disability, said he had hoped to raise the money to pay Singer for his keynote address through ticket sales. But with the state withdrawing, Jenkins said he will turn to private sources. Jenkins has said that he disagrees with Singer's views, but invited Singer to speak as a way to show how ridiculous the professor is.

"Whether we agree or disagree, he is raising questions that need to be asked and answered," Jenkins said.

Since the announcement that Singer would speak at the conference, disability rights advocates led by Not Dead Yet have protested the decision, saying that having him address a gathering hosted by members of the disability community would suggest the disability community supports him and his views.

On August 30, the Concord Monitor ran an editorial defending the commission's decision to bring Singer to New Hampshire, writing "There is nothing to fear in Peter Singer's appearance but the fear of ideas". Unfortunately, that editorial does not appear to be available on-line. However, several responses are:

Previous Inclusion Daily Express stories on Professor Singer are available at http://www.inclusiondaily.com/news/advocacy/singer.htm

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