Two young men at Southern Oregon University got a pretty sympathetic piece in the Mail Tribune today for scribbling anti-gay graffiti on the walls of a gender-neutral dorm. They totally don't hate gay people, though, they were just, uh, bored (?)

"We already had markers in our hands and we started to draw stuff on the walls, and it escalated," Adkins said.

"We're good people, we just made a mistake," Adkins added. "It was a reckless act. It wasn't supposed to be a hate crime or anything like that. It was a poor choice of words."

"By no means are we homophobic," Adkins said. "Unfortunately we managed to hit some halls that had special floors and that was an unintentional and unknowing mistake." Adkins and Novotny were arrested on April 30 and charged with second-degree criminal mischief. An intimidation charge against Adkins was dropped. They pleaded guilty on May 19 to the violation and received a $400 fine, they said. They could have received up to a $720 fine, Adkins said.

The students wrote “slang words with sexual and homophobic connotations” next to the names of residents in the gender-neutral dorm.

It remains to be seen whether the boys will be found responsible for violating college conduct policies.

This reminds me of something I covered as a student at Lewis & Clark College—a student there made racially offensive posters that intimidated students and caused a ruckus when they were found. That student was found responsible for hate & bias by the college, a charge that was eventually overturned when the college president got involved and pressure was on.

The LC student, unlike these boys at SOU, was trying to make social commentary, not just wander around at night with a marker. But they both raise complicated issues with free speech and hate speech, in residential and academic environments... It's just so durn complicated.

Oh yeah, and are you guys super excited for the "God Hates Fags" people to get here?