Anti-LGBTQ religious group on UL campus causes concern among students

Louisiana

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — A religious, anti-LGBTQ group held a demonstration on ULL’s campus Thursday, holding up signs that had messages calling being queer an “abomination.”

Students have expressed concern and frustration, saying this isn’t the first time the group has come.

One sign read, “God only recognizes two genders. Another said that being part of the LGBTQ+ community is an “abomination,” and it had the website of Consuming Fire Fellowship at the bottom of it. There was also one sign that advertised the website Bible-Evangelism.com.

Students voiced concern over the group’s presence on campus. They say that while open dialogues and free speech should be welcomed on campus, the message the group was sending was harmful and may even set a precedent for other groups to bring hate to campus.

Keagan Yates, a graduate student in Mechanical Engineering sent an email to UL President Joseph Savoie to address the demonstration and voice his frustration over events like this on campus.

Yates commented further to News 10, expressing his opinion on the effect that groups and events like this can have on campus.

I think it has two main affects. For one, I think it sets a dangerous precedent for other groups/organizations. Other groups/organizations see what they can get away with and I see this having a possible snowball affect if it is not dealt with appropriately. 

Secondly, I think it can be horrible for the people that have to walk by and listen to hate being spewed at them. Some people do not have the luxury of having good home lives or even being comfortable with themselves, their sexuality etc. and campus should be a safe space where they can explore these things. Organizations like this threaten that.

Keagan Yates, UL Grad student

A junior at UL, Jacob Spencer, said that he enjoyed watching people come together to take a stand against the group.

“Honestly I love seeing everyone come together to deny them spreading their ideals,” Spencer said. “I believe in freedom of speech so I think they’re entitled to whatever they want to say, but doing so in the middle of campus is obviously going to cause some kind of scene.”

“The reaction from the students was awesome,” Spencer said. “People were coming from everywhere to deny them.”

Some students even took to Twitter to call out UL for allowing what they say is a “hate group” on campus.

News 10 reached out to UL for a response. The office of communications made the following statement in response to the demonstration and students’ concern over it:

UL Lafayette is committed to the free and lawful expression of ideas. Open dialogue is fundamental to maintaining an environment of rational and critical inquiry – and that often requires hearing a multitude of opinions, even those that may differ from our personal or institutional values. 

UL Lafayette is committed to the free and lawful expression of ideas. Open dialogue is fundamental to maintaining an environment of rational and critical inquiry – and that often requires hearing a multitude of opinions, even those that may differ from our personal or institutional values. 

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Louisiana law, and UL Lafayette’s Campus Free Speech Policy protect the right to peaceably assemble and express opinions on campus. 

UL Office of Communications

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