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
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
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