Despite accusations that he sexually accosted a young male client and uses public property to promote sectarian religious bigotries, Mike Jones and his Corduroy Stone ex-gay ministry will continue to receive its web hosting from Michigan State University.
The Michigan Messenger reported Friday that David Gift, vice provost for libraries, computing and technology at MSU, said that the university’ hands are tied because Mike Jones is a retired university employee.
We have made systematic progress over the past year at removing public purchased web publishing and e-mail accounts that had been established at MSU. However, retirees have the benefit of continued use of their MSU web space and our existing policies for controlling their use of that space are quite limited and do not permit us to address this particular case. The owner of this site is a retiree, and after we closed his purchased account under our general change of business practices he set up shop in his retiree space. He apparently has arranged for a .com URL, but has that URL redirected to his MSU personal webspace.
Terry Denbow, vice president for university relations, further explained MSU’s policy:
The point is that we do allow retirees to have Web spaces that link to other organizations. The fact that this organization has material that is offensive does not, in and of itself, violate any University policies. We cannot, under the First Amendment, make content based distinctions on what sites we allow and which ones we do not. We are continuing to review and update our acceptable use policies and will take this under advisement as we do so. In the meantime, so long as Mr. Jones is in compliance with U policy, his web space will remain available to him.
Denbow said that while the university was blocked from further action under
current policies, it might be time to revisit those policies.
Truth Wins Out executive director Wayne Besen and Jones’s victimized client, who is no longer ex-gay, reacted here.
It is frankly alarming that MSU policy allows alleged predators to host websites on public property simply because they are retirees. MSU’s see-no-evil policy may serve as an open invitation for other retirees to launch sites inciting prejudice and sexual violence against ethnic and religious constituencies.
A true “conservative,” small-government, or libertarian policy would demand that no personal or private sectarian sites of any kind be hosted on taxpayer-supported government property. Instead, taxpayers are being forced to host the work of a predatory ex-gay who inflicts his failures upon students.
Truth Wins Out has sought comment from Corduroy Stone and from Exodus International regarding the accusation of sexual abuse; both have refused to comment.