Advocating violence against LGBTQ folks is not free speech

  • recipient: Cleveland State University
A student group at Cleveland State University hung posters last week telling members of the LGBTQ community to commit suicide. Then the president of university said the posters were protected by free speech laws. As the posters are advocating for physical and emotional harm to people, they are absolutely not protected by free speech.

Demand Cleveland State University doesn't allow for any more posters advocating violence against LGBTQ students.

Imagine a student who is just beginning to come to terms with their sexuality or who has been bullied much of their life for it or who is already struggling with suicidal ideation seeing this poster. It must hurt so bad to know some of your peers wish you would kill yourself. We, as a broader community, must show these students that they are wanted and loved and the hateful kids who made these posters are the minority. Please sign the petition.

Initially, the president didn't even condemn the posters from a personal standpoint. It took days of public pressure for him to finally disavow them, but he continued to say they were protected by free speech laws. The posters were removed, but not because their content. Instead, they were removed because they had not gone through the proper channels to hang them. 

Suicide rates in the LGBTQ community are already at epidemic rates and that is largely because of this kind of hateful treatment and rhetoric by society. 

Essentially, Cleveland State University is creating a hostile environment for LGBTQ students and we must stand up for them.
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