Queer News On Campus [QNOC] Articles Digest
For the week ending 2009.10.04
Brought to you by the Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals. http://www.lgbtcampus.org
Archives of the QNOC Digest can be found at http://queernewsoncampus.blogspot.com
Reminder: If you come across articles that should be included in the digest, please email a link to the article to firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The Salt Lake Tribune - Forum discusses LGBT meanings and modes
2. The Post (Ohio U) - LGBT center sees student visitor influx
3. The Daily Illini - New LGBT/Queer studies minor available for students
4. Dallas News - UNT to offer unisex bathrooms on campus
5. The Chronicle (Duke) - Pride festival draws crowd, protesters
6. The University Daily Kansan - Bisexuals face additional challenges
7. The Signal (Georgia State) - Georgia State hosts forum on race, sexuality, and the struggle for civil rights
8. The Miami Herald Blog - University of Miami SPECTRUM newsletter gets new Perspective after gay students object to name
9. The Ferris State University Blog - “What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?”
10. Edge Boston - College Employee’s Homophobic Email Gets Her Canned
11. The Chronicle of Higher Education - Calvin College Faculty Asks Trustees to Withdraw Memo Against Gay Advocacy
12. The Harvard Crimson - Mass. Hosts GLBT College Fair
13. The Journal (Webster University) - Religion and sexuality explored at campus events
14. The Daily Campus (UConn) - National GLBT History Month is rich in tradition
15. State College - "Don't ask, don't tell" focus of campus debate
16. The Pendulum (Elon University) - Area students take pride in diversity of community
17. Indiana Daily Student - A story never told
18. Green Bay Press Gazette - UWGB hosts Coming Out Day events; more in Sunday's paper
19. The Maneater (University of Missouri - Columbia) - Westboro Baptist Church plans Columbia pickets
20. Independent Mail (Anderson, South Carolina) - Clemson alumni group created to promote equality
1. The Salt Lake Tribune, September 27, 2009
90 S. 400 West, Suite 700, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
Forum discusses LGBT meanings and modes
By María Villaseñor
A transsexual who was a woman but is now a man is attracted to women. What is his sexual orientation?
After a small pause, one of the nearly two dozen people listening to Cynthia Martinez speak about the modern lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender movement shouted "heterosexual."
"Right," said Martinez, the director of the University of Utah's LGBT Resource Center.
As part of the bimonthly Forum for Questioning Minds, Martinez spoke with the small group gathered Sunday at the Salt Lake City Main Library about categories covered under transgender: from cross-dressers who wear clothing of the opposite sex and transsexuals who medically alter their sex, to drag kings and queens as well as someone who is gender queer, a person who doesn't identify wholly as male or female.
And there are several more variables, including which gender individuals identify with, express themselves as and are attracted to.
Even LGBT can be expanded to LGBTQQIA, Martinez noted, to include queer, questioning or intersex people as well as gay-rights allies.
"Now that's long," Martinez, who identifies as lesbian, said of the acronym. "Gender is not just one form or fit or identity ... People go in between genders to identify themselves."
There were some descriptions Marilyn O'Dell, who carpools with friends from Ogden to regularly attend the forums, hadn't heard of. And she wondered of the merits of "dividing people into smaller and smaller groups, smaller slices," instead of just calling them "people," O'Dell said after the talk.
Martinez also discussed terminology that was unknown to some of the audience, which ranged from college students to senior citizens, and also spoke about current phrases. "Homosexual" now has a more negative connotation, Martinez said, or is used medically. "Gay" is OK, she said. "That's so gay," not so much, she said of a common way some describe things as stupid or bad.
"I mean, we don't say that's so straight."
Martinez also gave a brief overview on the timeline of the modern LGBT movement, from New York's Stonewall riots in 1969 through the 1992 inception of the Utah Pride Center, and six states allowing same-sex marriage.
"We don't want privileges," she said, "we want to be treated like everyone else is treated."
After being asked about contracts people can make with unmarried partners to attain benefits of marriage, Martinez said it was an expensive endeavor that still doesn't assure those rights are upheld. She said in the LGBT community, discrimination in hospitals can occur when a nurse or doctor doesn't recognize a partner's legally designated visitation or decision-making authority.
Those kinds of issues are the reason Alan Doonan, a University of Utah nursing student, attended the forum.
He is researching for a class project on the health care disparities of different groups, and was surprised to hear claims of patients being dropped after "coming out" to their physicians.
"I just can't imagine a doctor to do that ... but we'll find out," Doonan said of his project to gather more information.
2. The Post (Ohio U), September 22, 2009
325 Baker University Center, Athens, Ohio 45701
LGBT center sees student visitor influx
By Mallory Long
The Ohio University Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Center will hold a "Big Gay Movie Night" tonight, the first of many events designed to attract more students to the popular hangout, which saw a nearly 50 percent increase in visitors last year.
"We're renting a projector and going to screen a movie in the center," said Bobby Landers, who is in charge of organizing evening events. "It's just to have a fun hangout experience."
Landers, a senior studying English, said he wanted to hold more events in the LGBT Center because of a noticeable increase in students spending free time there.
Mickey Hart, director of the LGBT Center, said he has also noticed the increase in students building since last year. Though he is happy to see so much activity in the center, the influx of students has been complicated because of understaffing, he said.
"It's exactly what we want, and yet we're a very limitedly staffed center so it gets a little tricky to be able to handle it," Hart said. "But of course we want even more people to stop by. I really think of the center as the LGBT living room on campus and I want the students to see it that way."
Hart said the LGBT Center recieved 3,928 visits last year, a 47.6 percent increase from the 2,661 visits the center recieved during the 2007-2008 school year.
Fourth-year student Chrissy Abelow said she has spent more time in the LGBT Center than she has in past quarters since she began attending OU in 2007.
"We did something similar to 'Big Gay Movie Night' two years ago and I think it's a really good idea," said Abelow, who spends her time between classes in the center rather than leaving campus. "It's definitely a different setting from most events we do. You get to actually talk and laugh and joke."
Landers said he also thinks this event will be good for LGBT students who might not know about the center or have reservations about attending LGBT events.
"For a lot of people it's even hard to walk down this hallway to see what's going on down here, and some people don't even know it's here," he said. "I feel like it would be a good opportunity for people who haven't been in here before to come in and get involved a little bit. I wish something like this had been going on when I started here."
3. The Daily Illini, September 27, 2009
512 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820
New LGBT/Queer studies minor available for students
By Jaclyn Bednar
Gordana Rasic, sophomore in LAS, has one thing that sets her apart from other students at the University: she is the only student who has declared a minor in LGBT/Queer Studies.
The new minor became available earlier this semester, said Chantal Nadeau, director of LGBT/Queer studies and a professor of Gender and Women’s Studies, or GWS.
“It is almost like a gift for me,” Nadeau said. “I’ve been waiting for it for 15 years.”
While courses such as Intro to Queer Studies have existed at the University since 2003, for the past two years the department has worked to form an individual minor including 18 hours of coursework, Nadeau said. There are 10 different classes incorporated with the minor, including studies in areas of sexuality and literature and trans bodies and politics, she added.
Rasic said she declared the minor because of her interest in the subject matter and because both the minor and her major in anthropology deal with people and different aspects of humanity. She said her interest in LGBT/Queer studies increased after her high school involvement in the Gay Street Alliance and the National Day of Silence.
The GWS Program celebrated the new minor at a ceremony Sept. 24. About 15 professors, prospective students and supporters of the minor attended the ceremony.
Amy Leahy, sophomore in LAS, said she only heard about the minor recently, but she attended the ceremony because she wanted to learn more.
Nadeau said she is excited for how the minor will progress this year.
“Gender and sexuality is central to understanding the world we live in,” Nadeau said.
Nadeau said she believes this minor and its required courses will challenge students to ask questions about the role of sexuality in everyday life. She said students who decide to declare this minor will achieve a more cultured background, and that this will help students have a healthy attitude toward diversity in their future job placements.
Nadeau said the program is up and running this semester with the goal of obtaining the 14 more needed students.
The minor is not unique to the University. Others schools with the minor include Northern Illinois University, the University of Minnesota, and Indiana University–Bloomington, Nadeau said.
Students interested in enrolling in the minor or learning more about the courses can visit the GWS program office on the corner of Sixth and Chalmers.
4. Dallas News, September 28, 2009
508 Young St., Dallas, TX 75202
UNT to offer unisex bathrooms on campus
By Candace Carlyle
The University of North Texas plans to offer unisex bathrooms in the lobbies of most of its residence halls and dining rooms.
The decision came in a vote last week by the UNT Residence Hall Association's general assembly.
The private, single-stall unisex restrooms will help transgender or transitioning students feel more welcome on campus, said Hunter Nelson, president of the Residence Hall Association. The facilities are much like the family bathrooms seen in malls and movie theaters.
"I think this is one step toward fully accepting every person no matter what sex they are," Nelson said.
"This is one small thing the university can do to improve community on campus and for students not to have to worry about using the correct restroom."
Candace Carlyle, Denton Record-Chronicle
5. The Chronicle (Duke), September 28, 2009
301 Flowers Building
Pride festival draws crowd, protesters
By Sonia Havele
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender supporters gathered on East Campus Quadrangle Saturday to celebrate the 25th annual North Carolina Pride Festival and Parade.
From the eye-catching costumes, multi-colored parade floats, high-blasting music and constant candy showers, the scene was nothing short of eventful. The crowd included a mix of Duke affiliates as well as supporters from across the state.
Although many East Campus residents like freshman Sunhay You came out to show their support, others like freshman Curtis Beach just wanted to see what all the hustle and bustle was about.
“I’ve had a lot of friends participate [in the festival] in previous years,” You said. “It’s really interesting to see it in person as opposed to in pictures or on TV.”
You and Beach, among others, said they were most interested in the conflict between the protestors and supporters at the event. You said she was curious to observe the interaction between the conservatives and liberals, referring to the Duke-Durham community as a relatively liberal bubble in a generally conservative state.
Of the protesters at the festival, the most visible and prominent were the picketers at the corner of West Main and Broad Streets. There, two men held signs that read “Jesus Saves From Hell.”
“We’re not just preaching against gay people,” protester Ken McRae said. “We’re here preaching against sin—just sin.”
McRae, a man who devotes his time to spreading the Gospel across the country, said that if he does indeed love lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals, then it is his duty to try and save them from their sin.
Many of the supporters at the festival, however, considered themselves Christians.
“It’s interesting to see how two people who believe in the same fundamentals of religion can argue so much about the most trivial details,” Beach said.
Aside from the expected protesting and groggy weather, the event drew a substantial crowd.
Following the parade, spectators and supporters migrated to a tented area where they could shop, eat, dance and listen to several speakers.
One of the speakers, Marjore Rudinsky, Grad ’94, spoke of her dedication to end the “don’t ask don’t tell” military policy. Rudinsky is a member of Knights Out, a group of West Point graduates, staff, faculty and allies dedicated to supporting service members who want to serve in the military openly.
“I served in the closet for 14 years and voluntarily resigned my commission,” Rudinsky said. “I know people who were kicked out of the service just for being gay because of DADT.”
Dwayne Cornelison, stage manager and master of ceremonies for the event, said the celebration is a positive for the LGBT community, noting the festival is non-alcoholic and receives 20 percent of its support from “straight allies” as well as from 15 different churches.
Cornelison also noted his appreciation for the warm welcome Duke offers each year, especially the great student involvement.
“[The festival] gets better every year,” Cornelison said. “Although it’s a long way to go, we’re making a lot of progress.”
6. The University Daily Kansan, September 28, 2009
111 Stauffer-Flint Hall, 1435 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS 66045
Bisexuals face additional challenges
By Megan Heacock
Karianne Howard was 14 when she told her parents she was bisexual.
She told her mother first — they were really close. Her dad was less predictable. Karianne said she didn’t really know how he felt about anything because he was quiet man who didn’t share his views, She had her mom there for support when she finally told him.
“When I told him and he saw that I was really worried about telling him, he just cheered up and said ‘Well, I’m really glad that you told me. You’re still the same person and I love you all the same.’”
Because of the support from her parents, Howard considers herself lucky. Growing up in Tucson, Ariz., her coming out process was relatively painless. Except for a few of her religious friends, she found that most people were accepting.
As she grew older, Howard faced struggles of a different kind. Being bisexual had its consequences, and not just from the straight community but from some gay men and lesbians, as well. As Howard was exposed to more people in the gay and lesbian community, she began to see there was a negative connotation to bisexuality that was separate from being gay or lesbian.
Rachel Gadd-Nelson, Kansas City, Kan., junior and Educational Outreach Coordinator for Queers and Allies, said the stigma about bisexuality was born out of ignorance and a general lack of understanding from both gay and straight communities.
“A lot of people can understand gay and lesbian a lot better than they can wrap their mind around bisexuality,” she said. “Even in the gay and lesbian community, there’s still a lot of misconception, and maybe even stereotyping, for bisexual people and for transgender people.”
Howard came to the University for academics, without any regard for its level of acceptance of her sexual identity. For the most part, her first impression was positive. She was introduced to many gay and lesbian people on campus and became involved with Queers and Allies, an organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and supporters.
The stigma, however, still had an effect on some of her relationships. After one lesbian friend learned Howard was bisexual, Howard never heard from her again.
“I was definitely surprised,” Howard said. “Especially within the gay community, if you can sense the fact that you’re a minority, you feel like you should be helping or be supportive of other people in the minority.”
Dennis Dailey, professor emeritus in social welfare, taught human sexuality courses at the University for more than 25 years before his retirement. He said the bisexuality stigma had a political undertone.
“There’s politics in that, for example, bisexuality complicates the political agenda of gays and lesbians, and bisexuality pollutes the political intention of those who think heterosexuality is the only thing on the planet,” Dailey said.
Lori Messinger, associate professor at the school of social welfare, recently published an article about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people on university campuses. She said much of the negativity came from some people’s assumption that bisexuals were “gay cop-outs.”
Messinger said older gay or lesbian people she knew were insecure dating bisexual people. Because being gay or lesbian was difficult, they were often fearful of their bisexual partners leaving them to be in a heterosexual relationship, a considerably easier path to take, she said.
Godd-Nelson said this suspicion was prevalent in younger gay and lesbian people, as well.
“It’s seen as you’re not willing to come all the way out of the closet. You’re just putting your foot out,” she said.
‘Great group in the middle’
Monica Soto, Kansas City, Kan., senior and public relations manager for Queers and Allies, said disapproval for bisexuality often stemmed from it being viewed as a choice that didn’t really exist as a sexual orientation. Soto said she disagreed with this idea because though she and other lesbians had used bisexuality as a transition, others had stayed consistent with their bisexuality over time.
“Some bisexuals show a preference in one of the genders, but most of the time, at least from what I’ve seen, they still stand firm in their bisexuality regardless of a preference,” she said. They aren’t choosing bisexuality, Soto said. It’s how they are.
Howard has encountered a number of myths about bisexuality, one being that a bisexual individual will date a guy and a girl at the same time out of need or desire for both. Howard said she did date both genders, but never at the same time. Infidelity was infidelity, she said, no matter the sexual orientation.
Messinger said she thought bisexuality had a broader definition, overall. She said that younger girls tended to be extremely affectionate with each other — braiding hair, touching and leaning on each other, for example. She said although this was not necessarily a “lesbian thing,” it showed that women had found a way to be close to each other while, perhaps, still having a sexual connection to men.
“Sexuality is really this multi-faceted thing that has to do with your emotions, intimacy, sexuality and friendship, and all of these things are connected,” she said. “I think we’re all a little more bisexual than we think we are. But we think it’s all about sex and not these other aspects of it. If we could think more broadly, we wouldn’t be so hung up about it.”
Dailey referred to bisexuality as the “great group in the middle.” He said society didn’t have an understanding of sexual orientation in general, including bisexuality.
“What we know is that how human beings are in the world erotically is an extraordinarily complex and an extraordinarily fluid issue, and it doesn’t always conform to the political, social, religious expectations of the culture in which it exists,” he said.
Approximately 2 percent of the population, or 6.1 million people, is known to be gay, lesbian, or bisexual in the United States, according to the National Health and Social Life survey. Some other recent studies have tried to shed light on the topic. In January 2008, the American Psychological Association published a study that suggested bisexuality was a distinct sexual orientation for women, instead of just a transitional phase. Lisa Diamond, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Utah, conducted the study with 79 women during a 10-year period. Though this study focused on women, it was in reaction to a study published in Psychological Science in 2007 that claimed men do not have bisexual attraction.
Dailey said the findings of this study were true only to an extent. Diamond’s conclusion that there was a larger group of bisexual women than bisexual men was missing an important element that would influence these results: the social pressure on men to be straight.Dailey said he thought society had sexist tendencies and held men to a different standard than women.
“What women do, who they sleep with, it’s basically like ‘whatever,’” Dailey said. “What men do, how they name themselves in the world, what choices they make — these are extremely important to everybody. So men who do things that are more feminine are going to get in trouble.”
Dailey said working in traditionally female occupations, having sex with other men and not being masculine enough were examples of abnormal male behavior by societal standards.
Messinger said she thought women had more sexual freedom than men.
“I think a lot of it is about our society. They’re told that it’s bad and gross and dirty,” she said of men having sex with men. “For women, it’s sometimes seen as gross, but then it can sometimes be seen as sort of titillating and exciting.”
Howard said education and general discourse would be most important for dispelling the myths, assumptions and stigmas about bisexuality.
Both Messinger and Dailey agreed that society’s acceptance of LGBT communities had improved, but Dailey said the change was relatively small. He said, “we delude ourselves if we think there’s been a dramatic change.” He acknowledged that changed attitudes of certain churches and comprehensive sexuality education in some public schools were a step forward but were still achievements of a small scale.
“There is something called revolts in small corners,” Daily said. “What I mean by that is there are some areas, some families, some social situations in which the change has been rather dramatic.”
For the time being, Howard must deal with the concerns of her mother, who, after reading about the legislation of gay rights and learning of the struggles faced by the LGBT community, is expressing her own opinion on the matter.
“She gets more and more worried about me and my safety and happiness, and so there have been some comments where, if I break up with a girl, she’s like: ‘You should date guys now. You should be normal,’” Daily said.
“No, that’s not how it works,” she said she tells her mother. “I’ll date who I want.”
- Edited by Abbey Strusz
7. The Signal (Georgia State), September 29, 2009
44 Courtland Street, Suite 200, University Center, Atlanta, GA 30303
Georgia State hosts forum on race, sexuality, and the struggle for civil rights
By Kimberly Joyner
Is gay the new black?
The title alone raised eyebrows all across campus and compelled several Georgia State students and staff to attend an intense forum on gay civil rights in the Student Center on Sept. 22.
The forum was hosted by Elisé Meyers and Brittany Moody of Intercultural Relations, a department in the University's division of Student Affairs, and was one of several forums that are held each month by the department that focuses on campus diversity.
Meyers began the forum by showing clips from an episode of The Tyra Show, in which Tyra Banks and her guests debated the comparison of gay civil rights to black civil rights. We learned from the clips that the forum's title, 'Is Gay The New Black?', had originally appeared on the front cover of The Advocate, a national gay and lesbian magazine. The magazine cover had received criticism from black Americans when it was first published.
Lamont Sims, president of BlackOUT, the black gay and lesbian organization on campus, officially opened the floor for a debate of our own. Almost immediately, the debate was intense.
Several students felt it was unfair to compare the struggles of black Americans-who for centuries endured slavery, lynching, and socioeconomic oppression-to the current struggles of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) Americans.
"I am going to wake up black no matter what," said one student. "I can't change it. I can't choose not to show it. But being gay-that is a choice. You can choose whether or not to show it."
Another student, however, contended that no one would choose to be the subject of ridicule by mainstream society.
"I don't understand how [someone] could think that people choose to be harassed, beaten up, or disowned by their families," he said.
Eventually, I found myself compelled to speak on behalf of gay and lesbian Americans.
"Equality is not contingent upon choice. Rights are not given to people based on whether they choose to be different from the majority of society."
Others also felt that the choice argument trivialized the negative experiences of gays and lesbians in an often intolerant society. Sims took aim at the title itself, claiming that it ignores the experiences of people who identify as both black and gay.
"The question ['Is gay the new black?'] implies that the black struggle for equality is over, and that racism exists only in the heterosexual community."
The forum ended much sooner than the debate, and while many valid points were expressed, the intensity of the forum up until the end proved that no one argument superseded the other, and that no one had changed their original position on the issue.
To Junior Ravi Batra, volunteering is how both sides can bridge their differences. Batra is a volunteer for the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a national gay rights organization. He was invited to the forum by Meyers and Moody to talk about his work at HRC and ways that students could get involved in activism for gay rights.
"Ultimately, we can all agree that homophobia is wrong, that hate crimes based on sexual orientation are a problem in our nation that we must put an end to. Volunteering is how we can do that-whether it's writing letters to our representatives or going to rallies at the Capitol. Action is where the real change is."
8. The Miami Herald Blog, September 30, 2009
One Herald Plaza, Miami, FL 33132
University of Miami SPECTRUM newsletter gets new Perspective after gay students object to name
By Steve Rothaus
A gay student group at the University of Miami has taught UM's School of Education a lesson: Don't mess with our name.
The education school a few weeks ago e-mailed its new quarterly newsletter called SPECTRUM -- which also happens to be the longtime name of UM's gay student group.
The newsletter's SPECTRUM logo also happened to be rainbow-colored, just like the gay student group's.
The SpectrUM group's concern: "Some of the students who are on the verge of coming out and want to contact someone'' might call the education school by mistake, said Dr. Marilyn Neff, associate dean of communications for the School of Education, who met with group leaders.
The newsletter will be renamed Perspective, she said Wednesday.
Aaron Esman, a UM junior and president of the gay student group, said "it does seem like an honest mistake on their part."
Esman said the student group's name is recognized by UM's Committee on Student Organizations. "We've been registered with them as an organization since 1992 and as SpectrUM since 2000."
Neff said though there is no copyright on the name, "I understand their point of view. We certainly don't want to cause any confusion."
No confusion about the five young men and women pictured on the SPECTRUM newsletter's front page.
"That was stock art we pay for," she said. "They're not even our students."
9. The Ferris State University Blog, September 30, 2009
1201 S. State Street, Big Rapids, MI 49307
“What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?”
BIG RAPIDS - For those interested in what should be an interesting lecture, you will not want to miss one coming up from Wayne State University professor of Philosophy Dr. John Corvino, who will be on campus at Ferris State University.
On Monday, Oct. 5, at 7 p.m. in the Rankin Student Center Dome Room, Dr. Corvino will be speaking on the topic: “What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?”
Here is the description of Dr. Corvino's lecture:
“What's Morally Wrong With Homosexuality?” a lecture by Dr. John Corvino, Associate Professor of Philosophy at Wayne State University in Detroit and nationally known speaker on issues relating to morality and homosexuality.
For more information about Dr. Corvino, please visit his website http://www.johncorvino.com/
This lecture is part of a series of educational events focused on issues faced by members of the LBGTQA (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, Queer, and Allies) community. All events are free and open to the public.
This event is made possible by: The Alliance for Ferris Employees, Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Human Services, Rankin Art Gallery, Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning, and the Departments of Humanities, Social Sciences, Physical Sciences, Languages and Literature, and Biological Sciences.
For more information about the Alliance for Ferris Employees (AFE) please visit http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/staff/alliance/
Date: Monday, Oct. 5
Time: 7 to 8 p.m.
Location: Rankin Student Center Dome Room
Contact: Karen Strasser
Group/Organization: Alliance for Ferris Employees
Telephone: (231) 591-2543
10. Edge Boston, October 2, 2009
46 Plympton Street, Boston, MA 02118
College Employee’s Homophobic Email Gets Her Canned
By Kilian Melloy
One employee at all-male Morehouse College, which is located in Atlanta, Georgia, has been fired, and another reprimanded, in the wake of discriminatory comments emailed about the wedding of two African-American men.
The comments were sent from the employees’ work accounts, according to an Oct. 1 Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.
The unnamed employee who lost her job had worked in the office of the college president as an administrative assistant, the article said.
The unnamed former employee reportedly was the recipient of an email that included photos taken at the wedding of two gay men. She then allegedly sent the email along to others, having included her own commentary.
Those remarks were seen as conflicting with the college’s values, according to statements by college president Dr. Robert M. Franklin, who said in a statement that, "The views expressed in the e-mail entitled, ’The WTD of the Week,’ (September 28, 2009) were the personal views of one individual and do not reflect the values or policies of Morehouse College."
Added Dr. Franklin, "The College has taken great strides toward building a diverse and tolerant community."
The article noted that Dr. Franklin has been a supporter of acceptance and diversity, and that the college has instituted a "no tolerance" policy toward discrimination.
The article quoted from comments that Dr. Franklin made to the college’s students in which he encouraged the all-male student body to explore issues relating to gays for themselves.
"As an all-male institution with the explicit mission of educating men with disciplined minds, the great challenge of this moment in history is our diversity of sexual orientation," Dr. Roberts said in his address, made last April.
"Read a book by a gay author," advised the college president. "Have an intelligent conversation with a gay neighbor.
"Diversity at Morehouse is an opportunity that can enrich your education if you are courageous enough to seize the opportunity."
Morehouse College belongs to the so-called "Black Ivy League." Its graduates include filmmaker Spike Lee, actor Samuel L. Jackson, and civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
An Oct. 1 article at The Southern Voice also quoted from Dr. Franklin’s statement, which said that "the College has reminded its staff that the Morehouse e-mail system is College property, should be safeguarded as any other College property, and that e-mails that are discriminatory, inflammatory, or derogatory to any group are prohibited at the College."
Franklin also wrote a letter of apology for the emails, The Southern Voice reported.
"It is my sincere hope that the gay and lesbian community, and most specifically Michael Cole Smith and Jamil Smith Cole--whose wedding photographs became the subject of an unkind and intolerant email sent and forwarded by a Morehouse College employee--will accept my official apology on behalf of the College community," Dr. Franklin wrote.
"Morehouse College-the institution where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of our nation’s premier champions of human and civil rights, was nurtured-has a history of promoting tolerance and inclusion for all people," the letter continued.
"Remarks such as the ones made in the e-mail were counter to Dr. King’s-and the College’s-core values and will not be tolerated from any Morehouse employee or student.
"Effective September 30, the employee who made the offensive comments is no longer working for the College."
Dr. Franklin went on to write, "I will continue to emphasize to the Morehouse community the message that was shared during an April town hall meeting: On the matter of diversity, Morehouse is committed to being a respectful campus that balances personal liberty with the responsibility of membership in a moral community.
"This has been and always will be a community dedicated to promoting respect and tolerance between heterosexuals and homosexuals," gher college president continued.
"We encourage everyone to aspire to high ethical standards and we demand responsible community behavior.
"Those who cannot embrace the Morehouse code of ethics will be sanctioned accordingly."
The Southern Voice quoted from the email in question.
""I can’t believe this wedding," the letter, as quoted in the article, read.
"It’s 2 men. They don’t smile in a lot of pictures and they look like a few brothers I’ve seen in the streets looking STRAGHT," the quotation continued.
"Black women can’t get a break, either our men want another man, a white woman (or other nationality that’s light with straight hair), they are locked up in jail or have a "use to be" fatal disease.
"I’m beginning to believe Eve was a black woman and we Black women are paying for all the world’s sins through her actions (eating the apple)."
The Southern Voice reported that the pictures were taken at the wedding of Michael Cole Smith and Jamil Smith Cole, who wed on Sept. 13 in a ceremony that took place in Minneapolis.
The article said that the photos had been posted at Facebook by the newlyweds, but were then copied and appeared a a number of blogs.
The article said that many of the comments appearing online with the photos were "hurtful and homophobic."
The Southern Voice quoted Jamil Smith Cole as saying, "I don’t get how so many people took it as a personal attack, because it was our wedding, it was something personal to us."
An Oct. 1 article at Web site Rod 2.0, also reported on the story, noting that the college had in the past been the site of "numerous well-publicized cases of homophobia, including harassment of gay students and accusations of anti-gay hiring bias at the College of Medicine.
"In November 2002, one ’Morehouse man’ nearly killed another student with a baseball bat because he believed the boy was gay and made a pass at him," the Rod 2.0 article added.
The Rod 2.0 article confirmed that the pictures had "been posted to many black gossip blogs where hateful anti-gay commentary is standard operating procedure.
"At ghetto-obsessed and fact-challenged Bossip, there are almost 500 comments at the post charmingly entitled "What the Hell is Wrong with These Pictures". The majority are negative," the article noted.
"One woman compares gay men to ’rapists and serial killers’."
However, the article went on to note, "quite a few comments were supportive and many criticized Bossip for ’spreading hate.’"
Opined Rod 2.0, "Gang bangers, criminals and babies’ daddies who skip child support payments are idolized by our thug-obsessed, hyper-masculine urban culture.
"Two black gay men in love, who own a successful business and contribute to the economy? Not so much."
11. The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 1, 2009
1255 Twenty-Third St, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037
Calvin College Faculty Asks Trustees to Withdraw Memo Against Gay Advocacy
Calvin College's Faculty Senate voted, 36 to 4, this week to ask the Michigan institution's Board of Trustees to withdraw a memorandum saying that faculty and staff members should not advocate homosexuality and same-sex marriage, the Grand Rapids Press reports. Faculty leaders say the memo limits academic freedom and the board disregarded principles of shared governance by distributing it without faculty input. The board's president, Bastian Knoppers, told the paper that the trustees of the college, affiliated with the Christian Reformed Church, have an obligation to uphold that church's position. Nevertheless, he expressed willingness to continue talks with faculty leaders.
12. The Harvard Crimson, October 1, 2009
14 Plympton Street, Cambridge, MA 02138
Mass. Hosts GLBT College Fair
By Julia L. Ryan
Harvard admissions officials joined counterparts from nearly 30 other colleges yesterday at a gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender (GLBT) friendly college fair designed to encourage dialogue with prospective applicants about GLBT issues on campuses.
Co-hosted by Campus Pride and Friends of GLBT Youth and held in the great hall of the Massachusetts State House, the fair drew high school students, guidance counselors, and parents from across the Northeast region.
The fair’s environment provided a more comfortable setting for students to ask questions about GLBT issues than they would get at a general college fair, said Harvard admissions officer James R. Pautz ’06, who was vice chair of the Harvard-Radcliffe Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgendered, and Supporters’ Alliance (BGLTSA) during his undergraduate days.
“[Harvard] is very welcoming for students of all orientations,” he said.
Conor, a high school senior from Mass. who attended the event, said queer issues are “not really something that come up in info sessions.” GLBT Youth board member Lex Thomas requested that high school students’ last names not be printed to protect their privacy in connection with a potentially sensitive subject matter.
Shane L. Windmeyer, the executive director and founder of Campus Pride, commended the Massachusetts government for its progressive outlook.
“Not too many state governments would allow this in their house,” he said.
Susan M. Harvey, a high school history teacher and Gay-Straight Alliance faculty adviser from Littleton, Mass., brought 11 Littleton High School Students to the fair. The smaller size of the event gave students an opportunity to have meaningful conversations with college representatives, she said.
Other colleges represented there included Brown, Dartmouth, Tufts, and Yale.
Several GLBT activist groups also attended with the aim of encouraging incoming college students to get involved in GLBT activism.
Approximately 200 people attended the event, according to Timothy R. Kelliher, the president of Friends of GLBT Youth—a Boston-based organization that joined with Campus Pride to host the fair.
Campus Pride is a national organization “for student leaders and campus groups working to create a safer college environment for GLBT students,” according to its Web site. The group is known for its “Campus Climate Index,” a ranking that assesses the quality of life for GLBT students on college campuses.
Campus Pride plans to co-host college fairs with other groups in Los Angeles and New York later this year.
13. The Journal (Webster University), October 1, 2009
470 E. Lockwood, St. Louis, MO 63119
Religion and sexuality explored at campus events
By Matt Blickenstaff
Members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Questioning Alliance (LGBTQ) and the Campus Crusade for Christ (CRU) presented an open and frank discussion on religion and sexual orientation.
The event, which took place in the Emerson Library Conference Room Sept. 23, served as an acknowledgement of past harms and an expression of a mutual desire for understanding. The conference room was packed and extra chairs had to be brought in to accommodate more than 50 students.
"I hope this is the beginning of a conversation that will continue for the rest of the year," said Joe Congdon, CRU's minister at Webster University. "I'm really excited about it."
The night began at 7, with a screening of "For the Bible Tells Me So," a film that chronicled the struggles of religious homosexuals coming to terms with the schism between their own sexuality and Christian doctrine, including the stories of Gene Robinson, the first gay bishop of the Episcopal church, and Chrissy Gephardt, the daughter of Dick Gephardt, a prominent Democratic politician.
The film also explored the discrimination and hatred directed toward homosexuals in the name of religion. Several gay rights opponents and religious leaders, such as Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, Jimmy Swaggart and Fred Phelps, were featured heavily throughout the documentary.
"It broke my heart to see so much hate among the Christian community," said Madison Gordon-Forbes, a sophomore art major. "God doesn't hate people."
Gordon-Forbes, a member of CRU and LGBTQ, saw the issue from both sides as a homosexual and a Christian.
Following the film, the chairs were rearranged into a large circle for a forum on the film. CRU passed out a printed response stating their opinion on the film to attendees.
According to the film, only seven passages in the Bible mention or forbid homosexuality and Jesus never personally referred to same-sex relationships.
"These passages are clear in communicating the status of homosexuality as sin," CRU wrote in its response. "However, many have not heard that homosexuality is sin just like any other sin. Too many people have singled it out as a sin above all sins."
Although the tone of the conversation was calm and polite, CRU members faced many tough questions and often had to defend their beliefs.
"Do I believe homosexuality is a sin? Yes, because it says so in the Bible," said Gordon-Forbes, a lesbian. "But, I don't believe that any one sin puts us in hell and that is the beauty of living in Christ."
Many in the audience shared experiences of feeling like they had been ostracized and injured by the religious community.
"I think it was cathartic for some people to really tell stories of how they felt excluded from a church and to understand that that does go on," said Chris Venable, a freshman math education major. "It's important to have the kind of conversation where people are genuinely open to hearing other peoples opinions"
Members of CRU hoped to distance themselves from the more extreme view highlighted in the film.
"There was a lot of hurt in both communities," Gordon-Forbes said. "In the gay community, they feel hurt by the Christians. But in the Christian community, they feel like the gays were persecuting them for their beliefs."
The discussion meandered into realms of sociology, philosophy, psychology and history. The nature of homosexuality, personal choice and religious literalism were explored thoroughly by the audience. At times, a certain comment or misstatement would raise tensions in the room, but generally members on both side of the issue were there to understand.
"I don't think an hour and a half conversation can change everything, but I think for some people it probably has been a positive experience," Gordon-Forbes said. "I definitely do think it planted the seed for change."
14. The Daily Campus (UConn), October 1, 2009
11 Dog Lane, Storrs, CT 06268
National GLBT History Month is rich in tradition
By Andrew Villagomez
October is National GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender) History Month. In the 1990s, teachers and community organizations decided that a month should be chosen for GLBT history and the history of the gay civil rights movement. October was chosen because schools are in session and traditions, such as National Coming Out Day, also take part this month.
Equality Forum, a national nonprofit GLBT civil rights organization, took charge of GLBT History Month in 2006. They have created a Web site to promote the project, GLBTHistoryMonth.com.
The Web site states, "GLBT History Month teaches our heritage, provides role models, builds community and makes the civil rights statement of our extraordinary national and international contributions. The GLBT community is the only community worldwide that does not learn its history at home, in public schools or in religious institutions."
The Web site is updated daily, presenting information on GLBT icons - individuals, living or dead, who are selected for their achievements. Included this year are John Amaechi (first NBA player to speak publicly about being gay), Tammy Baldwin (first out lesbian to be elected to the U.S House of Representatives) and Harry Hay (founder of the Mattachine Society, first underground American gay organization).
"GLBT History Month is important to realize because in mainstream education, GLBT figures can't be found for students needing positive role models," said William Hickman, administrative assistant for the Rainbow Center.
"The awareness in the month allows for them to have role models. Here at the Rainbow Center we host lectures about the GLBT history throughout the year," he said.
GLBT history goes back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. In the U.S., the majority of the history occurred in the last 40 years.
The 1960s and 1970s were the start the GLBT civil rights movement. The Stonewall riots of 1969 set the foundation for activism groups and for people to open up about their sexuality. People started to realize they did not have to "stay in the closet" anymore. Many of the first pride parades began in the 1970s, with the first gay pride flag being flown and symbolized in 1978. Harvey Milk became the first openly gay American in a public office in 1978. The first national GLBT rights march on Washington, D.C. was in 1979.
Many other public figures came out in the 1980s, but the movement was halted with the AIDS epidemic. In the battle against AIDS, U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop published the first government publication on gay safer sex practices for the public in 1986. In 1988, "National Coming Out Day" was founded.
GLBT legal action began in the 1990s, creating laws banning sexual orientation discrimination. The fight for same-sex marriage and adoption also began in the 1990s. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy went into effect for the U.S. armed forces in 1993. The Matthew Shepard hate crime occurred in 1998 and Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded the same year.
In 2000, civil union law went into effect in Vermont, granting most state-level marriage rights to registered same-sex couples. Other states followed, but it wasn't until May 2004 when the first state, Massachusetts, legalized same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage has since been legalized in Connecticut, Iowa, New Hampshire and Vermont. The fight for GLBT civil rights still continues today.
The Rainbow Center and the Connecticut Repertory Theater are sponsoring the production "Abraham Lincoln's Big Gay Dance Party" at the end of GLBT History Month with a panel after a production, Hickman added.
For information about GLBT activism or social groups and other events on campus contact the Rainbow Center at email@example.com or visit them in the student union room 403.
15. State College, October 2, 2009
220 Regent Court, Suite B, State College, PA 16801
"Don't ask, don't tell" focus of campus debate
By Kulsoom Khan
A lieutenant and a major general faced off on the Penn State campus yesterday in a battle of words.
The military's policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" was up for debate last night in the Katz Auditorium as an event sponsored by OutLaw, Penn State Dickinson School of Law's LGBTQA law student organization, and the Penn State Federalist Society.
The policy bans openly gay people from serving in the military, but it also prevents military officials from asking questions and furthering investigations if they believe a soldier to be homosexual.
Speakers included Lt. Sue Fulton, a spokeswoman from Knights Out, an organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender soldiers, and Ret. Maj. Gen. Hugh Overholt, of the Federalist Society.
Overholt pointed out that Congress, not the military, passed the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
"People say why doesn't the military change? We did not make this law," he said.
But when arguing against changing the policy, Overholt cited national security risks.
"We need a cohesive fighting force. It is a fact that we’re at war. I have no interest in the army right now other than that we win that war," he said.
He went on to voice opposition to anything that might distract the soldiers and hurt the recruitment of potential service members.
Fulton agreed the military needs cohesiveness but argued that "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" compromises unit cohesion, which should be built on trust.
"The biggest problem with "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is that it hurts our military. You’re kicking out people you need in the time of war," she said.
She went on to call the policy hypocritical.
"The core values of the military include integrity. The "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Policy forces soldiers to choose between their honor and their duty," she said.
To this, Overholt said service members should expect to be discharged for admitting they’re gay, because they know the rules when they join.
While Fulton believes that there is still a chance for the policy to be changed, Overholt does not. Not without the government's help, at least.
"Until the Congress of the United States makes a decision that they are going to change the law, it's just not going to happen," he said.
16. The Pendulum (Elon University), September 29, 2009
Campus Box 7012, Elon University, Elon, NC 27244
Area students take pride in diversity of community
By Sarah Chaffee
A man dressed as Jesus strapped on roller blades and skated down the main quad at Duke University's East Campus last Saturday. This man was joined by several local church members, all marching to show their appreciation of the hundreds of people that came out to celebrate the 25th annual North Carolina Pride Parade.
Churches from every denomination accompanied this roller-skating "Jesus" down the road, some holding signs that read, "I'm Baptist and I'm gay!" The demonstrators were attempting to showcase pride and acceptance of both their sexuality and faith.
People from several ethnic, religious and socioeconomic backgrounds walked down the streets of Durham, passing along smiles and hugs as they marched.
"We've been going to this parade for eight years, and this year we have a great turnout," said Frank Cotton of Saint Francis of Assisi, a Catholic Church located in Raleigh with a gay and lesbian outreach ministry.
"Our church provides social and spiritual retreats for the gay and lesbian members of our community," said Chuck Small, a fellow member of the church.
Several members of Elon's own gay and lesbian group, Spectrum, strolled the streets, flashing huge smiles of excitement as the people lining the streets cheered them on.
"Pride is for everyone," junior Madeleine MeJean said. "It made me really happy to see people united."
MeJean said every day should be filled with this kind of acceptance and that people should try to attend a pride parade whenever they get a chance.
Sophomore Rhiannon Clark said she felt the parade made being different feel acceptable, something people should constantly feel.
"It's great to see support from churches and parents," Clark said. "It's good to see everyone being so open and not scared."
Impressed with the outcome, Clark casually pointed out the lack of protesters. A few protestors silently held signs that stated, "Homo sex is sin."
Sophomore Brittany Moore attended the parade with a car full of friends.
"I thought it was so much fun," Moore said. "Everyone was happy and we got to dance with all the people in the parade."
As the parade came to an end, Sen. Ellie Kinnaird (D-Orange) gave a speech celebrating the progress of gay rights in the South. Kinnaird emphasized, that even though the progress has been significant, there is always more work to be done. She thanked the community for showing its support and making the event possible.
"Everyone should experience the love and excitement," MeJean said.
17. Indiana Daily Student, October 1, 2009
IU Student Media, 940 E. 7th Street, 120 Ernie Pyle Hall, Bloomington, IN 47405-7108
A story never told
By Alyssa Goldman
The late IU President Myles Brand began and ended his presidency in controversy.
While most people know about Brand’s infamous firing of basketball coach Bob Knight, few are aware of how he helped get the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Support Services on IU’s campus.
Those who knew Brand said he made the University more progressive and cared deeply about IU and its students. But Brand, who died Sept. 16, was misunderstood by many students who thought he backstabbed the gay, lesbian and bisexual community.
In the fall of 1994, the political environment of Indiana was, as some administrators have described, “homophobic.”
“It was a hot political issue, and legislators were using that issue to promote themselves,” state senator Vi Simpson said.
Controversial beginnings in 1994
Intense opposition haunted Brand, the University’s 16th president, as IU administrators proposed an office for Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Services, which opened 15 years ago this November.
The groundwork for what is now the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Student Support Services Center had been laid before Brand came to campus, said Doug Bauder, GLBT office coordinator.
But when Brand was inaugurated in August 1994, “that is when the proverbial shit hit the fan,” Bauder said.
The legislators discovered that $50,000 of IU’s budget was set aside for the office, and that’s how the center became a target, Bauder said.
Former Dean of Students Dick McKaig said that Brand indicated to him that getting these services on campus was the right thing to do.
“Brand told me we would find a way to fund it with other resources,” McKaig said.
With a tight state budget, lawmakers, specifically state Rep. Woody Burton,
threatened a $500,000 cut from IU’s operating budget in response to the GLBT office, according to an October 1994 IDS article. The same article stated that Burton also hoped to block a $20 million federal grant to IU.
Burton had a very narrow view of what a minority is, Bauder said. Burton “proposed facial characteristics – as in Asian eyes and African hair and Jewish noses – as the official basis for defining the legal status of the minorities among us,” according to an Oct. 7, 1994, IDS article.
“Myles saw that diversity was more than a black or white issue,” Bauder said.
Jeff Nowak, IU Student Association president from 1994 to 1995, said that he and Brand testified together before the Indiana House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education to support their case for the GLBT center.
“During my time with the government, I saw that the growing shortfall of state support,” Nowak said. “Any issue could influence one or more legislators, which could really have a ripple effect and affect state support.”
Brand flips on GLBT funding
Facing pressure from state representatives and students alike, Brand did what he could do to make sure the center came to fruition.
He chose to use private funding to support the center.
Instead of receiving public funding from the state budget, the GLBT Student Support Services Center is privately funded by the IU Foundation as well as the GLBT Alumni Association.
“Brand decided – why fight the battle altogether?” said Pam Freeman, associate dean of students and director of the Student Ethics and Anti-Harassment Programs. “He wanted to get the services up and running. He figured out how to institute it.”
Students protested Brand’s decision for private funding.
“The students who were strongly for the center were very upset and thought the president’s decision was really a slap in the face to gay and lesbian community,” IU Chancellor Ken Gros Louis said.
However, IU administrators and faculty said Brand made the right decision.
“Brand committed to getting the office opened, and he knew in the midst of the controversy he had to switch the funding source,” Bauder said. “While from a principle standpoint that’s still a little frustrating because one, gay people pay taxes, too. And two, we don’t just serve gay students. We serve everyone. We serve this University very well. So from a principle standpoint it’s very frustrating. But from a practical standpoint it worked very well.”
Bauder, who has worked at the GLBT center since its start, supports its private funding.
“We got up and running and got a lot of university support over the years,” Bauder said. “Brand opened up the door to 15 years of great work on this campus.”
Although the decision was not ideal, it was innovative.
“The funding was not only creative, but it got the center going during a critical time and got the center established,” McKaig said.
Misunderstood mission, man
Although Brand was supportive of the center, his personality did not allow him to express it well to the student body.
“Brand without question was an introvert,” Nowak said. “He was not like a Ken Gros Louis in the sense that he did not go out dining with students in the residence halls. ... He was a very effective leader who appreciated issues affecting student life. In my experience he regularly valued the opinions of student leaders.”
Brand’s shy and quiet nature was misunderstood.
“He was a very serious president,” Gros Louis said. “He was a very shy man, which is interesting since he was president of two universities and a provost of a university. ... People felt distant to him. He was hard to get to know him because he was so shy.”
But those close to Brand saw him in a different light.
“I personally worked on a few projects with him,” McKaig said. “He was an easy person to get along with, and he was humorous.”
Despite Brand’s choice to use private funding, Bauder said he had faith that Brand was on their side from the beginning, and Brand demonstrated that commitment by communicating more with the office than any president since.
“It was very clear to me that he cared about this issue and that he was losing his mind to make everyone happy,” Bauder said. “And he thought private funding was the way to do it. But he didn’t communicate that with the gay students on campus.”
Brand was not acknowledged as an ally of the GLBT community during that time, but Bauder said he hopes that Brand can be seen that way now.
“As a respect to him,” Bauder said, “I want this story to be told for the first time.”
18. Green Bay Press Gazette, October 1, 2009
435 E Walnut St., Green Bay, WI 54301-5080
UWGB hosts Coming Out Day events; more in Sunday's paper
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay will host several October events designed to foster dialogue and raise awareness of issues faced by gays and lesbians.
The events surround National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11, said Mai J. Lo Lee, multicultural adviser at UWGB. Organizers hope to encourage dialogue among members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning, or LGBTQ, community, as well as their straight allies, Lo Lee said.
The events will kick off beginning Monday when students and staff pass out some 300 t-shirts that say “Gay? Fine by Me” in the University Union and Cofrin Library.
The t-shirt event is scheduled to last throughout the week. On Wednesday, UWGB will host a panel discussion called “Does Your Mother Know?” featuring students’ coming out stories.
The discussion is free and open to the public. It will be held at 4 p.m. in the University Union’s Christie Theatre.
The events are precursors to UW-Green Bay’s second-annual Ally Conference, scheduled from noon to 6 p.m. Oct. 24. Information is available at www.uwgb.edu/aic/ally.
The Press-Gazette will have more on the events in Sunday’s newspaper.
19. The Maneater (University of Missouri – Columbia), October 2, 2009
372 McReynolds Hall, Columbia, MO 65211
Westboro Baptist Church plans Columbia pickets
By Catherine Newhouse
The anti-gay, anti-Semitic Westboro Baptist Church plans to picket Mizzou Hillel, the Stephens College Macklanburg Playhouse, Congregation Beth Shalom and Hickman High School on Friday.
In the past, the Topeka, Kan.-based WBC has picketed soldiers' funerals, synagogues, Israeli consulates and any institution it believes supports homosexuality. It usually holds up anti-gay, anti-Semitic, anti-government and anti-Obama signs, sometimes singing or shouting.
Anti-Defamation League Regional Director Karen Aroesty met with Jewish Student Organization Executive Director Kerry Hollander, Rabbi Yossi Feintuch from Congregation Beth Shalom and representatives from the Multicultural and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning Resource centers for lunch at the Hillel on Thursday. They discussed the appropriate response to the WBC protests.
Although WBC is not violent, Aroesty said it is a hate group.
"It's been our position for a long time that you don't engage with them," Aroesty said. "My preference is that the family is ignored, and that they're not validated by any kind of action."
Fred Phelps, who owns the law firm Phelps-Chartered, is the WBC pastor. Members of his family participate in the protests.
Aroesty said counter-protests were not a good idea.
"These are people who, if they see an opening to file a lawsuit, they'll do it," Aroesty said.
WBC spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper said WBC decided to protest outside Mizzou Hillel and Congregation Beth Shalom because Jews killed Jesus and broke the covenant with God.
"We are reminding the Jews at this hour that important, vital, earth-shaking events are about to happen on this Earth," Phelps-Roper said.
Aroesty said the WBC's recent anti-Semitism is a new development.
"Although there were anti-Semitic overtones, they weren't prominent until this year," Aroesty said. "It sounds like they're doing it for publicity."
The WBC chose to picket Hickman High School because it believes high schools teach students to rebel against God, Phelps-Roper said. It decided to protest in Columbia on Friday because the Stephens College Macklanburg Playhouse is presenting "The Laramie Project," a play about the 1998 murder of gay student Matthew Shepard, at 7:30 p.m.
"They have Rebellion 101 at all colleges," Phelps-Roper said. "As part of Rebellion 101, they're putting on 'The Laramie Project.' "
Aroesty said the same six or seven protestors almost always arrive exactly on time to the picketing locations. WBC protestors plan to picket Hickman High School 2:40 to 3:10 p.m., Mizzou Hillel 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m., the Macklanburg Playhouse 3:15 to 3:45 p.m. and Congregation Beth Shalom 7 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., according to the picketing schedule on its Web site.
JSO Executive Director Kerry Hollander said the WBC will picket Mizzou Hillel on the corner of College and University avenues before Shabbat services at 6 p.m. Hollander said she plans to send out an e-mail to tell Hillel members to avoid the WBC protestors on their way.
"They don't have to come by College and University Avenue to get here," Hollander said.
20. Independent Mail (Anderson, South Carolina), Date Unknown
1000 Williamston Rd, Anderson, SC 29621
Clemson alumni group created to promote equality
CLEMSON UNIVERSITY — The Clemson Alumni Association has a new group for alumni called the Clemson Alumni Society for Equality. The group’s goal is to engage and support Clemson’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender alumni, as well as other underrepresented populations.
The group joins 14 established alumni special-interest groups, including the Women’s Alumni Council, Black Alumni Council, Young Alumni and Clemson Corps. The Clemson Alumni Council approved the group earlier this year.
The group’s president, Rob Pilaud, said members want to work with the university to implement its nondiscrimination, harassment and related policies to include sexual and affinity orientation and engage students, faculty, staff and alumni to increase awareness of and respect for different cultures and backgrounds.
For more information, visit http://cualumni.clemson.edu/case, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (202) 258-5486.
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 regarding fair use of copyrighted work, this material is distributed without profit for information, research, and educational purposes. The Consortium has no affiliation whatsoever with the originators of these articles nor is the Consortium endorsed or sponsored by the originators.
Questions or concerns should be directed to email@example.com