One aspect of the Synthese controversy that has bothered me most (I believe Rich Booher first called attention to it in discussion) is that in his invited and almost certainly unrefereed response, Francis Beckwith has used the editors' vague disclaimer to discredit Barbara Forrest (this is even clear from the abstract of his article posted online). Even if we trust the editors' public defenders that no public pressure was put on them to publish Beckwith's piece (yet the editors fail to address this issue fortrighly in their public statement!), the editors and their defenders should recognize that one of the premier philosophical venues is being used to help discredit a very brave philosophical colleague. And let there be no mistake: it really takes bravery for a professor at a public university to stand up to the powerful and well-funded Creatonism lobbey in Louisiana!
The editors of Synthese should also realize that by publishing Beckwith's particular piece they are enhancing Beckwith's credibility in the political arena. All of this is pretty galling once we remind ourselves of the historic roots of Synthese in scientific philosophy and public enlightenment projects. This is a clear instance where a procedural focus on politeness misses the very simple political fact that scientific authority is being abused by folk, however civil their tone, that have aims inimical to public reason.
There is no doubt that Brian Leiter's call for a boycott caught the discipline's attention. Before it comes to a boycott there are still many ways in which Synthese can right some of the present wrongs in addition to offering a forthright explanation of the circumstances surrounding Beckwith's publication. For example, why not give Barbara Forrest the uncensored right to respond to Beckwith article? In many journals authors who are the target of discussion pieces are allowed such a response.
To that end, I have started AN online petition: one that calls on the editors of Synthese to grant Barbara Forrest the right to respond to Beckwith's article within the pages of Synthese; (I have disabled another one that calls on the editors to explain in forthright fashion to explain the circumstances of the publication of Francis Beckwith's article in Synthese.) The petition is very narrowly focused (I have added no background texts so that folk can just support these actions).
Update 2 [JP]: see above for an argument in support of Leiter's petition.