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CENTRAL MICHIGAN LIFE — Hundreds protest conservative speaker (Gary Glenn of AFA-Michigan)

April 11, 2009

Note: we’ve demanded a retraction of the flatly false allegation included in this story that “many groups have accused (Gary Glenn) of” being anti-Semitic. No group has ever made such an accusation. If you’d like to join us in that demand, or otherwise express support for AFA-Michigan’s stand for traditional Judeo-Christian values, please e-mail the CMU student newspaper at:
studentlife@cm-life.com

“Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association in Michigan, was greeted by about 200 protesters when he arrived to speak with the (Central Michigan University) Campus Conservatives Tuesday night. …The AFA is strongly opposed to laws allowing gay marriage. Glenn is the (co-)author of Proposal 2, which in 2004 called for marriage to be defined in Michigan as between a man and a woman.

…Glenn spoke on the importance of traditional marriage and said the majority of Americans, including two thirds of blacks and more than 50 percent of Democrats agree that marriage should be between a man and a women. …According to Glenn, an Oxford University study suggests that college-aged gay men will die eight to 20 years earlier than straight men, and that gay people are more likely to experience domestic violence, a life-threatening disease and premature death.”

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CENTRAL MICHIGAN LIFE
Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, Michigan
April 8, 2009

Hundreds protest conservative speaker
Group closes meeting in response to demonstrations

by Joe Borlik

Gary Glenn, president of the American Family Association in Michigan, was greeted by about 200 protesters when he arrived to speak with the Campus Conservatives Tuesday night.

The crowd, which waited behind the metal gate across the street from the Bovee University Center harmoniously chanted “Gay, straight, black, white, marriage is a civil right,” and “Hey, hey, ho, ho, homophobia’s got to go.”

Signs were printed with statements like “hate is not a family value,” and “you don’t have the balls to be queer.”

The AFA is strongly opposed to laws allowing gay marriage. Glenn is the author of Proposal 2, which in 2004 called for marriage to be defined in Michigan as between a man and a woman.

“I wanted to send a message to Gary Glenn and the organization he represents that we won’t represent hate on campus,” said Tennessee senior Ben Dotson. “He has the right to freedom of speech, but we have the right to take a stand against the bigotry he stands for.”

Many of the protesters heard about the event from a Facebook event that was created by Dotson on Monday. Several officers with the Central Michigan University Police were on hand, presumably for crowd control.

In response to the protest, Campus Conservatives decided to close the meeting to the general public.

“Tonight is just for us because we don’t want people coming in and attacking him,” said Hart sophomore and Campus Conservatives president Bryant Greiner.

Many protesters waited outside the University Center Isabella Room where Glenn spoke to make their presence heard.

Glenn was prepared for the crowd who awaiting his arrival after seeing the protest scheduled on Facebook.

“It’s the first time I’ve ever had my own Facebook (page),” he said. “They preach tolerance and diversity, yet if they had it their way, I wouldn’t be here.”

Glenn spoke on the importance of traditional marriage and said the majority of Americans, including two thirds of blacks and more than 50 percent of Democrats agree that marriage should be between a man and a women.

He also said that people who preach love and diversity can sometimes be the most hateful and intolerant people.

Glenn also denied any allegations of being anti-Semitic, which many groups have accused him of. He said the mission statement of his organization has always been to promote Judeo-Christian values.

According to Glenn, an Oxford University study suggests that college-aged gay men will die eight to 20 years earlier than straight men, and that gay people are more likely to experience domestic violence, a life-threatening disease and premature death.

At 6:30 p.m., a half hour before the protest was scheduled to begin, Campus Conservatives sent out a press release to media entitled “Radical bullies try silencing Campus Conservatives meeting.”

The statement read that “radical activists from the fringe of the political spectrum are threatening to disrupt tonight’s meeting.”

Journalism professor Timothy Boudreau, adviser to the Campus Conservatives, said he wished Glenn’s speech would have been open to the public.

“I find it ironic and profoundly disappointing that on a night when they preached the value of free expression, they closed the door on opposing points of view,” he said.

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