Students vs. Anti-Gay Preacher FTW

2 Nov

We here in the activist community are constantly discussing what is or is not a purposeful or effective action to take against anti-gay bigots. Most protests are essentially rallies where a crowd is educated on a matter, listen to some speakers, perhaps march and carry some signs. The challenge in our multi-media age though, is trying to find something interesting that people might want to show up for.

Students at Minnesota State University, Mankata have been putting up with Rev. John Chisham of the River of Life Alliance Church, visiting their campus and spewing anti-gay rhetoric. Students have described his diatribes as rude and hurtful, especially towards gay people. The students were completely aware that it was Chisham’s First Amendment Right to say whatever he wanted to say, so they never tried to suppress his appearances.

Then Sophomore Tara Mitchell had the idea to visit the preacher’s church and give him a dose of his own medicine. She gathered several students and stood up in front of Chisham’s church service (held at the local YMCA) with posters highlighting the recent gay teen suicides. The protest was a silent and effective one.

Of course Chisham has filed complaints with the school wanting the students and their adviser punished for interrupting his service. The same students who would not ask to have Chisham removed from their campus have not been shown the same First Amendment Rights-respect as they showed this adult preacher.

It should be noted that John Chisham is the same guy who ranted at this year’s Twin Cities Pride events. Check out that story at JoeMyGod.

Congrats to these students for taking the higher road and for creating a peaceful, respectful event that demonstrated we can be creative, inspiring and take part in some incredible activism.

6 Responses to “Students vs. Anti-Gay Preacher FTW”

  1. leesis November 2, 2010 at 5:26 am #

    well done Tara and friends.

  2. Mea November 2, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    Silence is *golden*. Well done, Tara & Co!

  3. She.Is.Just.A.Rat November 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Incredibly brave, and hopefully effective. A point well made…

  4. tara mitchell November 7, 2010 at 5:21 am #

    Hello folks. My name is Tara Mitchell and I organized and led this protest. I am really grateful for all of the support we have been showered with! Thank you all. We must stand up to individuals like Chisham in order to make a difference in this world. He may never change his mind, but individuals in his congregation might.

    If you have any questions or comments, feel free to send me an email!


  1. Tweets that mention Students vs. Anti-Gay Preacher FTW « Talk About Equality -- - November 2, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Emma Filtness, Back in the Gays, Jamie McGonnigal, Take Back Pride, TalkAboutEquality and others. TalkAboutEquality said: Students vs. Anti-Gay Preacher FTW #LGBT #Bullying […]

  2. College Students Show An Anti-Gay Preacher How They Feel : : PRIDEinUtah - November 2, 2010

    […] from street corners for years. To date, no one has attempted to stifle his free speech. But does he show the same civility when they preach […]

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