CMU Pride Week event marred with antigay chalkings

By |2007-04-12T09:00:00-04:00April 12th, 2007|News|

MT. PLEASANT– The Pride Week celebrations this week at Central Michigan University have been overshadowed by dozens of antigay chalkings.
Ana Guerriero, director of the Gay Lesbian Issues office at CMU, says she was informed of the antigay chalkings at about 8 a.m. Monday, the kick off for Pride Week at the University.
“I went out and took pictures,” says Guerriero.
The chalkings include such antigay slurs as “Fag Zone,””Straight=HIV Free,” “Celebrate Hetero-Pride,” and “Say ‘No’ to Gay Pride.” All the chalkings are done in orange, green and blue chalk.
A video posted by a web blog associated with the CMU branch of Young Americans for Freedom purported to show Gay/Straight Alliance member and MSU Freshman Kent Malosh chalking the side walks
“It isn’t known what the two chalked, but they were the only ones reported to have been seen chalking at the same time as various individuals reported seeing the comments,” the Central Michigan Monitor reported in its “exclusive” report attached to a YouTube video.
Dennis Lennox, the past president of YAF CMU and the editor of The Central Michigan Monitor Blog, says the video was shot between 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m. In an email he clarifies that he is not implying the two in the video did the chalkings in question.
“Not alleging either of the two individuals in the video were responsible for the anti- homosexual comments. However, they were the only two seen applying chalk to the sidewalks between 11:15 a.m. and 1 p.m.”
Lennox says he was at a rally to support the troops that was disrupted during this same time period.
On Tuesday, the student senate of CMU voted to condemn YAF CMU as a hate group.
Two individuals say they were with Malosh at 8 a.m. in an off campus apartment belonging to Jamey Teal, where he had been since 9 p.m.the night before. In addition, Steven Warwick, a freshman at CMU, says he went with Malosh to his 9 a.m. class.
Malosh says the class lasted from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. He says he then went to his dorm room, showered and went to an 11 a.m. class that lasted until 1 p.m. the times between which Lennox says the video was shot.
In addition, Guerriero says the video does not depict anyone she knows from the GSA and certainly not Malosh.
Comparing several photos of Malosh to the video shows that the person could be Malosh, except that the person in maroon is heavier in body and balding. The photos of Malosh show that not only is he not balding, but he wears glasses which are not pictured in the video.
In addition, no one appears to be writing any words in the video, they appear to be scribbling things out, says Greg Varnum, Youth Issues Coordinator for Triangle Foundation. “It’s such–I’m trying to find the right word–an absurd attempt to blackmail people,” Varnum says of the video. “Like much of what is on YouTube, it’s completely fictional.”
“I’m not intimidated at all,” says Malosh who co-chaired the Pride Week events. “If they want a fight, they’re going to have one.”
The president of the University has condemned the chalking, calling it “repugnant” and calling those who did the chalking “cowards.” He however said the chalkings are protected speech.

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