Several students were offended by flyers handed out by Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment today near the arch.
The flyers said there is no clear evidence that homosexuals are born that way, and associated them with “sexual deviants” like “people who have sex in public or incestuous people.” They also said people become gay as a result of sexual abuse.
“Homosexuals also want you to believe they can’t change,” the flyers read. “Truth is, many can and have, probably because they were born heterosexual.”
Director of Campus Inclusion and Community Lesley-Ann Brown said the group has a right to be there, as it is public property. She also said a police officer came to monitor the situation.
Weinberg junior Jasmine Stephens began passing out flyers with the heading “My Homosexual Agenda.” The list included “spending time with GF,” “Watch Orange is the New Black … again?” and focusing on work and other social justice issues rather than on the fact that “society is slowly devolving to the point that maybe one day my gf and I will feel comfortable holding hands ANYWHERE in Evanston.”
Around 3:00, a group of students gathered to argue with one man who was handing out the flyers. According to the flyer, gay men have higher rates of AIDS, anal cancer, syphilis and a variety of other diseases. Similarly, lesbians have a higher breast cancer rates and possibly ovarian and cervical cancer as well. This data was used to support the group’s claim that the homosexual lifestyle is unhealthy, though advocacy groups and researchers connect this to other risk factors and not homosexuality.
Chemistry professor Owen Priest stopped to talk to the man, and several students reacted angrily to this argument, arguing that homosexuality does not cause cancer. Some students started making out with others of the same sex in protest.
Medill freshman Marissa Mizroch said she thought it was good that people were gathering to talk about this issue.
“I think this issue – at least for me and I think a lot of people here – is pretty black-and-white that this man, the anti-gay rights man is on the wrong side, but I think that it’s interesting that people are engaging him in a dialogue about it,” she said.