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Boise State professor ran far-right, anti-LGBTQ+ website: report

Author: Trudy Ring

A professor at Boise State University in Idaho has been revealed as the force behind Action Idaho, a short-lived but high-profile website that promoted anti-LGBTQ+ views and other far-right stances.

The involvement of Scott Yenor, a political science professor at BSU, “could raise further questions about the potential conflicts between Yenor’s professorial position at a public university and his political activism,” The Guardianreports.

Yenor has not publicly acknowledged that he was running the site, and some news reports have mentioned his connection “fleetingly,” according to The Guardian. But now that publication has obtained documents that show his role in detail.

In seeking financing for the site in 2021, Yenor said it would deal with “issues and fights that will make the state more congenial to conservatives,” as noted in an email attachment viewed by The Guardian. In another attachment, he wrote, “the new media outlet must be un-cancellable, reliable, and strategic in taking on Idaho’s Establishment and protecting a culture conducive to liberty and faith.” An email from Jackson Yenor, the professor’s son, making a job offer to conservative writer Pedro Gonzalez, described the site as “Christian nationalist.”

Action Idaho began publishing early in 2022 and continued for close to two years. Its URL now redirects to a gambling site, but it maintains a presence on X, formerly Twitter.

Action Idaho reserved a particular antipathy for Idaho’s LGBTQ+ community,” The Guardian reports. It attacked Pride celebrations around the state in 2022. One article was headlined “LGBTQ+ Pride Fest Is a Groomer Fest.”

The site also defended Keith Darrell, who calls himself the “Campus Preacher” and was ejected from the BSU campus in 2021. Its article on Darrell did not detail what he was saying, but accounts on his appearances at other schools have mentioned his homophobic comments, such as asserting that gay people should be executed.

Other posts on Action Idaho criticized politicians in the state for being insufficiently right-wing — this in a state that is already conservative and where Republicans control the governor’s office and both chambers of the legislature.

Scott Yenor has expressed far-right views elsewhere as well. In a 2021 speech at a conservative conference, “he said career-oriented women were ‘more medicated, meddlesome and quarrelsome than women need to be,’ and called universities ‘the citadels of our gynecocracy,’” The Guardian reports.

Progressive activists told The Guardian it’s problematic that someone with hateful views teaches at a taxpayer-funded university. “Action Idaho is making yet another dangerous attempt to mainstream extremism in Idaho politics. It is particularly troubling that the driving force behind it is an educator,” said Lindsay Schubiner, director of programs at the Western States Center, a civil rights group.

“Boise State University leaders should not be silent; bigotry on campus impacts the quality of education of every single student,” she added.

Action Idaho has been “a harmful page on the Internet, moronically reposting other Idaho extremists and hateful disinformation,” said Alicia Abbott, an organizer for Idaho 97, which monitors right-wing extremism.

Boise State has so far not responded to The Guardian’s reporting. In the past, university leaders have responded to criticism of Yenor by saying they cannot infringe on his First Amendment right to free speech and pointed out that he is a tenured professor.

The Guardian contacted Yenor for comment. His reply said Gonzalez — who has made racist and anti-Semitic statements — did not accept the job at Action Idaho, but Yenor failed to answer other questions. “The remainder of the reply was personal abuse,” The Guardian notes.

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Original Article on The Advocate
Author: Trudy Ring

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