LGBT student activists force pro-sexual integrity student group's event off med school campus
Petitioners claim the conference, which will address the legacy of the Sexual Revolution, will make “LGBT students feel threatened on their own campus.”
The Stanford Anscombe Society has been forced to take its upcoming “Facing History” conference to a new section of campus due to threats and a petition by LGBT student activists.
UPDATE: After the original story was published, a spokeswoman for Stanford University’s School of Medicine notified the article’s author that SAS was asked to relocate its conference because of the medical school’s need to utilize the facility for its student Admit Weekend. The School of Medicine covered the costs of relocating the event.
LGBT activists and faculty at Stanford University succeeded Wednesday in forcing a nonpartisan, pro-sexual integrity student group to move a previously approved conference off Stanford’s Medical School campus.
Members of a student-led LGBT advocacy group within the medical school circulated a petition Monday demanding that Stanford administrators “reconsider making space available” on the university’s Medical School campus to the school’s chapter of the Stanford Anscombe Society (SAS), which is scheduled to host its second annual “Facing History” conference—a scholarly event focused on the history, sociology, psychology, economics, and legacy of the sexual revolution—on April 11.
According to the petition, addressed to Dean Lloyd Minor of Stanford’s Medical School, allowing SAS to hold its conference at previously contracted facilities at the Medical School “will certainly make our LGBT students feel threatened on their own campus.”
“If the conference is held on our campus, we will be protesting the event, and ask for the support of the administration in this opposition. We are preparing to rally the support of both local and national organizations,” signatories of the petition threatened.
SAS, which describes itself as “neither religiously nor politically affiliated,” frequently holds events on campus intended to encourage discussion about the importance of traditional marriage, sexual integrity, and the family unit. Its upcoming conference plans to address the “decreasing rates of marriage and childbirth, increasing rates of premarital cohabitation and divorce, and the emergence of the pro-choice movement” as intensified by the Sexual Revolution of the 1960s, according to a statement issued by the organization.
"It’s really disappointing to see that a group of student activists is threatening to ruin Admit Day for prospective medical school students unless they get what they want—the censoring of speech they disagree with,” Brittany Crippen, outreach and programs officer for the Love and Fidelity Network, told Campus Reform in an official statement.
Although the conference has been partially funded by the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) Undergraduate Senate, Graduate Student Council, and Stanford Speakers Bureau, and is explicitly open to all interested students, petitioners allegedly claim that the conference’s scheduled list of speakers will deliver remarks that promote “hate speech.”
“To claim that these distinguished speakers are promoting hate speech is reproachable,” Elisa Figueroa, SAS co-president, said in a statement released Wednesday. “They have been invited to Stanford in order to share their research, and they deserve more from this university and its students than the libelous commentary contained in the [petition].”
The activists complained that the conference didn’t include enough diversity among their speakers.
“SAS’s purpose is to promote academic dialogue on issues relating to marriage, family, and sexual integrity,” SAS said in an online statement. “We bring conservative speakers to campus because we believe that this discussion is not present, that conservative students’ viewpoints are not being represented, and that Stanford students have not had an opportunity to hear a well-supported, academic talk on traditional sexual ethics.”
SAS had the same problem last year when they attempted to host a conference on traditional marriage; after protests from GradQ, a queer graduate student organization, the Stanford Graduate Student Council initially denied funding for the event and labeled the group’s message of sexual integrity “hate speech.”
However, Stanford “ found the funds” to pay for the conference at the last minute.
Stanford did not respond to a request for comment from Campus Reform.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @gabriellahope_