By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com October 30 2002 1:00 AM ET
An anonymous E-mail sent to members of a gay and lesbian support group at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, was "despicable" but not a crime, university officials said.
The E-mail was sent October 20 to 12 members of Spectrum, a campus gay-straight alliance.
The E-mail said Spectrum and its members "weaken the moral foundation of this country." It went on to suggest that they "should go find [themselves] a ceiling rafter and a sturdy piece of rope. You know the rest." Because the message did not suggest that the writer intended to harm the recipients, university officials concluded that it could not be investigated as a crime, university spokesman Richard Little said Monday. The E-mail was fictitiously signed with a name that does not belong to any student at Miami, and school officials do not know whether it came from within the university, Little said.
Spectrum said Monday that it and other campus organizations, along with faculty members, plan an antihate rally Tuesday afternoon on the Oxford campus to counter the E-mail's message. The 12 recipients made their sexual orientation known in a National Coming Out Day advertisement that ran on October 11 in the Miami campus newspaper.
Justin Graves, a third-year student, said he felt threatened after he received the E-mail. "I wouldn't be surprised if this person thought this was hysterical," Graves said. "This letter completely undermines the purpose of the advertisement and our organization."