This morning they issued the following press release:
Carthage students unite against discrimination on campusShannon Marion's Facebook page lists him as a graduate of Northwestern in 1987, in integrated science and physics, and an employee of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship since 1989, where he is now co-regional director, Great Lakes West. Neither InterVarsity's web page, nor Carthage's, lists the weekend conference.
This weekend Carthage College is hosting a regional conference led and sponsored by Intervarsity. After an extensive investigation, it has come to light that the following speaker, Shannon Marion, will be presenting at this conference. Shannon Marion has stated that being homosexual is against God’s design, and therefore it is wrong. This will be at the core of his message that will be delivered to Intervarsity students that are coming from all over Southeastern Wisconsin.
Carthage College students will be taking action against this discriminatory message that runs contrary to beliefs of the majority of the student body, demonstrated by the fact that in one full day of action, students were able to collect 400 signatures against the event. Furthermore, the mission of Carthage College and the ELCA Lutheran Church of America takes a strong stance of acceptance towards all members of society, gay and straight. Specifically, the ELCA Lutheran Church of America, “encourage[s] discerning conversation about homosexuality and the inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in our common life and mission.”
After five meetings that included students, administration, and conference leaders, the Carthage administration is providing a forum for this discriminatory message that runs contrary to the mission of the institution. It also creates an unsafe environment for the student community as a whole.
Over the next three days, Carthage students will be standing united against this speaker and his message. Starting at 5 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, Carthage students will be gathering at the Lincoln statue at the north end of campus to rally as a community united in favor of open dialogue that enables all sides to be heard. Members of progressive communities from Madison, Milwaukee and Chicago will also be in attendance to support the students.
The LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin issued the following statement:
The LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin supports the First Amendment Right to Freedom of Speech, while encouraging opportunities for constructive criticism from responsible spokespeople representing different viewpoints.
Further, the LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin stands behind these students in spirit and encourages them to rally others at Carthage College to create or re-establish a Gay/Straight Alliance (or other LGBT + allies-oriented organization) on campus that will advocate for their beliefs and concerns.