University President Criticized For Defending Posters That Encouraged LGBT Suicide
The president of Cleveland State University has been widely criticized after reportedly defending the posting of hateful posters that encouraged LGBT students to commit suicide.
The posters, which depicted a figure with a noose around its neck, carried the message, "Follow your fellow faggots.” They were found on campus buildings last week, and are believed to have been distributed by a group called Fascist Solutions.
A study cited by BuzzFeed found that more than 40% of transgender men and women, and between 10-20% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual men and women attempt suicide. By comparison, 4.6% of the general US population have reported a suicide attempt in their lifetime.
In response to the posters, Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman vowed on Monday to protect free speech and the First Ammendment, "even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided."
The posters were later removed, "because proper posting procedure was not followed. Prior approval needs to be provided before posters are added to that billboard..." said university spokesperson William Dube.
Then yesterday, in response to the public's outrage, Berkman issued another statement.
To which people responded: