Toronto
2 min

Jesus appears at rally

Students turn down request for homo space

OUT THERE. Bonte Minnema makes a ruckus. Credit: Jan Becker

U of T homos are using Jesus Christ to rally against a lost vote.



Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals And Transgendered Of The University Of Toronto (LGBTOUT) are protesting in the wake of a failed campaign to receive a 75 cent annual levy from full-time undergrads.



“This shows not only that homophobia is visible on campus, but which departments are more or less homophobic,” says LGBTOUT spokesperson Bonte Minnema of last month’s referendum.



The student tax was earmarked for a peer-run Queer Resources

Centre. Current facilities, activists say, are cramped and inadequate.



But it wasn’t so much the rejection as the reaction to the loss. Minnema says the announcement of the no vote was followed by “joyous cheers” from a throng of St Michael’s College students, and that one shouted: “Fuck you all.”



Fall-out spread into the student pub, where Students’ Administrative Council members broke up a number of skirmishes.



Vote breakdowns indicate students from the primarily Catholic St Michael’s College and the faculties of engineering, pharmacy, dentistry, medicine and nursing showed up in large numbers to kill the levy.



In response, LGBTOUT teamed up with a group called the Student

Christian Movement To Further Queer Art And Spirituality (SCMTFQAS) on the eve of Good Friday. Tongues firmly in cheeks, the two groups took their $50 acronyms and rallied around an art piece juxtaposing Jesus on the cross with homophobic literature.



Protesters carried the display to St Michael’s College, where they proceeded to spin Melissa Etheridge platters and get down to some gay faith healing.



A few hallelujahs later, the busy students were staging a kiss-in

and disseminating homosexual propaganda as they danced around in couples and threesomes.



This upset some of the Catholic students.



“They were telling us that Holy Thursday is a religious holiday,”

Minnema says. “We had to explain that it’s Easter for us, too, and that the Student Christian Movement is very queer positive.”



The protesters’ next target was the Trinity College dining room,

where the applause was loud enough to encourage an impromptu recruitment drive at University College.



The tour concluded in the cafeteria of the engineering faculty, where Minnema lit into the engineers.



“You are actively participating in, condoning and supporting homophobia,” he told them.



More protests were planned for this week. University president Robert Prichard will also be targeted in a letter writing campaign of “outrage.”



Minnema says Prichard is dragging his heels on releasing a task force report that might help activists obtain decent space, which makes the process “long and slow instead of quick and responsible.”



Prichard could not be reached for comment. He can be contacted at president@utoronto.ca.