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Protest at Harvard Over 'Ex-Gay' Speaker Jackie Hill-Perry

Perry
Hill-Perry speaks with Rev. Russell Moore at a 2014 religious conference

A woman who claims to have overcome her lesbian leanings spoke at the nation's most prestigious university, but she didn't receive a warm welcome.

Nbroverman

Peaceful protesters crashed a Friday lecture at Harvard from Jackie Hill-Perry, a Christian activist and poet who encourages people to ignore their same-sex attractions for Jesus's sake.

At least two dozen people held LGBT-affirming signs during the talk from Hill-Perry, which was sponsored by a group called Harvard College Faith and Action.

Hill-Perry proclaims on her website that she was "saved from a lifestyle of homosexual sin." In her talk at Harvard, she referred to queer people as "broken," insisted no one is born gay, and encouraged people to deny themselves same-sex relationships.

"The model for how we are to deny ourselves, whether that applies to our greed, to our lust, self-denial is not optional for the Christian," she said, according to the Harvard Crimson.

The protest included professors, some of which said Hill-Perry's presence sent a hostile message that LGBT people and religion are incompatible.

"The history of this speaker and the things that she keeps promoting are things that basically alienate and threaten the existence of queer students on campus," Divinity professor Ahmed Ragab told the Crimson. "I think it is a problem to have a speaker that promotes this kind of discourse."

After her lecture, Hill-Perry told a Crimson reporter that she doesn't support so-called conversion therapy, but believes LGBT people should suppress their feelings and desires because it's what Jesus wants.

Nbroverman
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Neal Broverman

Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.
Neal Broverman is the Editorial Director, Print of Pride Media, publishers of The Advocate, Out, Out Traveler, and Plus, spending more than 20 years in journalism. He indulges his interest in transportation and urban planning with regular contributions to Los Angeles magazine, and his work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He lives in the City of Angels with his husband, children, and their chiweenie.