On Monday of this week, the Spy published David Montgomery’s opinion piece on the recent school shooting in Colorado that took place earlier this month. In his commentary, David contrasted the terrorist motives with the heroism of the students who charged the assailant, one of whom was killed during this courageous act. Within his column, Montgomery expressed concerns that one of the murderers, who had been questioning his gender identity at the time of the crime, was the result of our society “brainwashing teens into gender dysphoria.” It was tortured logic at best.
Nonetheless, it has always been the Spy’s mission to provide a safe harbor for very different perspectives, even those that might be repugnant to this publisher or the vast majority of its readers. It was the my hope that readers would use the comment section to refute or challenge these outrageous views. That didn’t happen. In fact, serious damage was done.
In the spirit of doing no harm, or more harm, I have removed David’s commentary from the Spy. There are limits to free speech and the stigma he has attached to transgender people crossed a line that I wish I had the sensitivity as both an editor, and a gay man myself, to see the damage it presents to all of us that live in a culture that remains hostile to the notion of being different.
In my desire to find a full spectrum of thought for Spy readers, I failed my own test in judgment. I am horrified by this gap of moral direction.
Since I started the Spy started in 2009, it has been unambiguously supportive of gay rights, same-sex marriage, transgender protection, and, more importantly, we have celebrated Chestertown’s long history of diversity. I regret that David’s column has put this commitment into question.
Publisher and Executive Editor