Students protest anti-gay preacher on campus

About fifty students gathered around the unnamed man near the end of the Breezeway to speak their minds.


Sophomore English major Rihanna Davis holds up the man’s sign that she stole and ripped in half. Photo by Sophie Siegel

Sophie Siegel and Hope Dean

A man holding a Bible arrived on the Boca campus today near Indian River Towers. He propped up a black fold-out stool at the end of the Breezeway, stood on it, and began to preach that being gay is a sin.

Over fifty students gathered around him in response, playing loud rap music and shouting counterarguments. Some surrounded him with the LGBTQ and transgender flags. Others of the same sex kissed as the crowd cheered. Even more made their own signs, ranging from “I respectfully disagree” to “Krusty Krab unfair.”

Two students hold up handmade signs to speak out against the preacher. Photo by Hope Dean

The man had a sign of his own that read “Homosexuality is a sin,” but sophomore English major Rihanna Davis grabbed it from his hands and ripped it in half. You can see her do this here

The preacher’s name is allegedly Ken, according to Max Gritz, a freshmen majoring in ocean engineering. The University Press tried to speak with the preacher and confirm his identity, but he shouted that the “fake news is here” and would not respond. He did mention that he goes to church in Jupiter, however.

A crowd member and senior named Kenyse, who wished that her last name not be used, said she had been there for a few hours as of 2 p.m.

“They’re just trolling at this point. He started with homosexuality is a sin, and someone took that sign, but now it’s just, oh, everyone else is going to hell. He went through that too. Muslims, Catholics, false Christians, Atheists,” she said. “I mean, you’ve got your freedom of speech so he has his right to say what he wants, but … he’s not right.”

Freshman Devon Lang, who was also among the crowd, agreed.

“It’s rather ironic that he’s being judgemental, since the whole point of being a Christian is to follow Christ’s teaching, which is to be loving of all people and don’t judge,” he said.

Ocean engineering major Max Grits leads a counter-protest chant and holds up a sign reading “Equality for all. Be who you want to be.” Photo by Sophie Siegel

Several students led their own counter-protests. Gritz began a chant of “Love. Peace. Equality,” and held up a sign saying “Equality for all. Be who you want to be.” Freshman psychology major Lucien Griffin stood up on the Breezeway’s concrete barrier nearby and spoke about love, adding that students should go to class instead of listening. You can see a video of his speech here

“I think that the amount of people that were there in defense of the LGBTQ community was very, very heartening to see, but I’m afraid if we keep riling up this man his platform will only get bigger and bigger. I think the most brutal thing we could do is not give him an audience,” Griffin said.

Check back with the UP for updates.

Sophie Siegel is the editor in chief of the University Press. For more information on this and other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @SophSiegel.

Hope Dean is the news editor of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her at @hope_m_dean.