The State Hornet’s March 16 issue featured an advertisement from the Sacramento Central Seventh-day Adventist Church spotlighting a March 21-25 seminar series in which speakers discussed how they gained “freedom from homosexuality.”
The Sacramento State Queer Union posted an open letter criticizing The State Hornet’s decision to publish the ad on its Facebook page two days later, which it also sent to The State Hornet’s faculty adviser.
The letter contained a list of requests to The State Hornet. The State Hornet responded, asking if the letter and requests could be published as a letter to the editor and if the Queer Union would be available for a meeting to discuss them.
The Queer Union obliged and a meeting between it and The State Hornet has been scheduled. What follows is the rest of its March open letter.
To the Editors:
You have put the LGBTQ+ community of Sacramento State University directly in harm’s way by printing an advertisement for an organization and event that looks welcoming to the LGBTQ+ community at face value but once further researched spews homophobia and transphobia to the community. The advertisement leads unsuspecting students to a seminar that shows the film “Journey Interrupted” whose trailer shows a person stating “I would look in the mirror and I would punch myself in the face and I would scream at God … why did you create a boy when I was supposed to be a girl,” and “… [God] said, ‘you’re my son’…” This statement denies the gender identity of the narrator. The film trailer also states “…the church has done a good job when telling us that homosexual behavior is sinful … If I am a Lesbian that’s sin, and sin equals death.” The website of the sponsoring organization, Coming Out Ministries, states “We would like to share how we found redemption, victory, healing and freedom from homosexuality.” The site also refers to folks of the trans community as having “gender confusion” as stated by their blog—a harmful belief that is not in line with the vast majority of the health and medical community.
It is clear through your advertising actions that you value more the money earned from this advertisement than the safety and psychological well-being of the LGBTQ+ community. You earned approximately $750 by printing this irresponsible and dangerous advertisement from the Coming Out Ministries organization. We, along with our allies, have a list of requests that will allow you to make amends:
- We want you to stop printing advertisements from Coming Out Ministries.
- We want you to write a public apology to all the members of the LGBTQ+ community which acknowledges that you’ve put them in harm’s way.
- We want you to take structural steps toward being more responsible about the ads you publish and your decisions on whether or not to notify the campus community of potential harm.
- We want you to donate the money you made from this advertisement to the Gender Health Center, where students who have been tricked into attending this event can get necessary health care services. Donations can be made directly on their website: thegenderhealthcenter.org.
- We want to run a colored counter ad on the back page of The State Hornet free of charge on your next publication of March 30.
We expect a response to our requests within a week.
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