A project called Organizing Against Hate Groups is speaking out against the figures hosting and attending the Response Louisiana, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune. According to their Facebook page, Organizing Against Hate Groups will hold a demonstration outside of the Peter Maravich Assembly Center on January 24th, followed by workshops on social justice and grassroots organizing.
The project counts several regional LGBTQ and women's rights groups among its sponsors, including Feminists in Action, Qroma, the Louisiana LGBTQ Business List, and NOW Shreveport. A statement by Organizing Against Hate Groups criticized Jindal for breaking bread with homophobes and anti-choice activists.
"On January 24th. Governor Jindal plans to take his first steps in running for the presidency by hosting a prayer rally on the LSU main campus in Baton Rouge.
Unfortunately, he has again chosen to ally himself with the radical Christian right, and by this I mean the right-wing of Christians. The people who want to re-criminalize homosexuality and applaud the actions of the Ugandan government which is trying to make homosexuality punishable by death. These are the same people who blame natural disasters on unwed mothers, abortion, and marriage equality.
These are the same people who are fanatical about abortion laws but think that helping poor people when they need help is destroying our country. These are the same people claiming persecution in the US yet support countries like Uganda attempting to make homosexuality punishable by death.
We are protesting this event not because it is a Christian event, we are protesting because this is our campus, and we do not accept their message of hate and exclusion.
We are also hosting break out sessions to help train people on how to be better community organizers in their areas of interest ranging from effective use of social media to engaging in civil disobedience, and more.
These individuals claim to be part of a moral majority, but we know that there is no morality in their words. There is no morality in hate.
LSU has a saying “Love Purple, Live Gold.”
It is our responsibility to Live Gold by taking a stand and saying no more, so come join us on January 24th at 9am."
Louisiana State University Students are also petitioning LSU's administrators, urging them not to host the Response Louisiana on campus. A Change.org petition entitled "Ban the American Family Association from rallying on campus at LSU" condemns the American Family Association, one of the sponsors of the rally, as an anti-gay hate group. Inflammatory statements by AFA representatives run contrary to LSU's code of conduct, the petition argues.
"In LSU's own code of conduct it outlines a "commitment to community" that expects that students will:Another Change.org petition reminds LSU administrators of its commitment to equality, alarmed that "the university has agreed to allow Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal to host an on-campus, politically-motivated prayer rally in January which distributes materials blaming recent tornadoes and hurricanes on LGBT people." The petition also urges LSU not to host the Response Louisiana, an event that would fly in the face of LSU's non-discrimination policies.
"hold myself and others to the highest standards of...personal, and social integrity"
"practice justice, equality, and compassion in human relations"
"respect the dignity of all persons and accept individual differences"
If students are held to these standards of basic decency, why do the same rules not apply to visitors to LSU's campus? As a member of the LSU student community, it saddens and offends me that our administration would welcome to campus a recognized hate group whose vile rhetoric targets gay and transgendered people, Muslims, immigrants, and other marginalized groups. Such action undermines the safe, tolerant, respectful atmosphere that LSU seeks to provide for its diverse community. Please help me in petitioning the administration to reconsider letting an unabashedly bigoted group rally on our campus. LSU is better than that."
Not everyone in Louisiana is excited about the Response Louisiana's upcoming "revolution of righteousness". As rally organizers champion a right-wing vision for America, opponents continue to remind them that their vision is flawed.