After some outcry from Stanford’s LGBT community, the Stanford Graduate Student Council has pulled funding for an event called “Communicating Values: Marriage, Family, and the Media” after saying it promotes “hate speech.”
Brianne Huntsman, who works for the LGBT center at Stanford, immediately went on the attack saying that members of the conference “didn’t want to come across as bigots but their message is very much bigotry.”
What message is that? The Stanford Anscombe Society, which was created to promote “the values of marriage, family, and sexual integrity on campus”, had set up a conference to have “secular conversations advocating for marriage to remain between a man and a woman.”
Instead, their funding was pulled after the school’s LGBT community complained the event was anti-gay. Graduate Student Council member Eduardo Gonzalez-Maldonado said “The purpose of the event is to promote the cause against LGBT rights.” Jeffrey Cohen, the Vice President of Stanford’s GradQ, an LGBT group, called the event “an echo chamber of hate.”
Huntsman adds “I’m so glad that GSC chose not to fund this event-because it shows the grad community (and the larger Stanford community) that Stanford is a safe space filled with people who work hard to make sure it stays that way.”
Judy Romea, the president of the Anscombe Society, strongly disagrees, saying “We wanted to host this conference to enable us with this view to articulate our position rationally and carefully. Our student government has set the dangerous precedent of viewpoint discrimination, which is entirely antithetical to the freedom of thought and intellectual diversity that should be the hallmarks of the Stanford experience.”
Romea went on to add that “Our relationship has always been respectful. Members of the SAS have never treated any members of the LGBT community with disrespect.”
While the event will still be allowed to take place, the SAS will now have to come up with its own funding after the Council voted 10-2 to revoke university funding for the event.