The matter of granting honorary degrees is a piece of academic hoop-jumping which has eluded me for some time now. It is with interest that I am following the current case of Dr. Margaret Somerville, a professor at McGill and founding director of the McGill Centre for Medicine, Ethics and Law.
It seems that Ryerson has her slated for an honorary degree, but there is a bit of opposition to that proposal. The opposition was organized into an online petition, asking Ryerson not to grant the honorary degree. Four reasons are listed in support of the petition:
-Margaret Somerville is a McGill University ethicist who is renown (sic) for her controversial views on same-sex rights.
-her views on reproductive rights are anti-feminist.
-she holds anti-gay sentiments and is an outspoken critic of same-sex marriage and families.
-she seeks to restrict access to insemination and methods of "assisted fertility".
There is also a counter petition on the go as well. (Side note: it's great to have a free online petition service whenever you need one.) There are a number of issues bubbling around this one. It is also quite interesting to read the various comments which accompany the signatures on the two opposing petitions.