The one-sided moral outrage of the Ivy Leagues–and in particular of my alma mater, Yale, where I received an MA in history–is a sight to behold. For decades, Yale and the other Ivies refused to host ROTC on campus because of the military’s discrimination against gays. That stance was only reversed last year after the lifting of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Yet now Yale is opening its first-ever foreign campus in Singapore in cooperation with the National University of Singapore. This, in a country with an authoritarian political system that not only criminalizes homosexuality but even political protests and political speech.
Singapore is not the People’s Republic of China but nor is it Taiwan; it is rated by Freedom House as being only “partly free.” Freedom House notes: “Academics engage in political debate, but their publications rarely deviate from the government line on matters related to Singapore. The Societies Act restricts freedom of association by requiring most organizations of more than 10 people to register with the government, and only registered parties and associations may engage in organized political activity. Political speeches are tightly regulated, and public assemblies must be approved by police.” In keeping with this policy the new Yale campus “won’t allow political protests, nor will it permit students to form partisan political societies.”