Students protest anti-LGBTQA group: Anti-transgender group causes a ruckus on campus

Rachel Wright, News Editorr



       On Monday afternoon the religious organization The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) held a protest against the transgender movement on campus. Bloomsburg was just one of the many stops the religious group was taking on their tour of Pennsylvania colleges.

     The group, clad in navy blazers and bright red sashes, played the bagpipes and held a flag with the organizations crest and a banner that said “God created them male and female. Stop the ravages of transgender ideology.”

     Word quickly spread through campus and students gathered in the walkway between Luzerne and Northumberland Halls to see what was going on. As the crowed grew, TFP began to hand out pamphlets to students who either declined or ripped them up and threw them away.Within minutes, the campus LGBTQA community formed a barrier around TFP with pride flags to block their signs. A table was quickly set up and counter information to TFP was distributed and accepted among the students.Malik Muhammad, the Coordinator of Gender and Sexuality said, “While we understand their right to be here the university does not condone or appreciate their presence. We are here to provide counter information on how to be more supportive to the transgender community.”


     John Ritchie, the director of TFP Student Action, which was the division on campus, said, “We are visiting all Pennsylvania state schools like Penn State and Bloomsburg … We want to protect the family. We see the transgender movement as a threat to the basic concept of male and female. It claims feelings change nature but that is biologically unsound. There is no third sex. Just because you have a feeling, it does not change nature.


     ”The flier handed out by the TFP had ten reasons why they believe transgenderism is the family’s worst enemy, a few points being it warps manhood and womanhood, it’s self-destructive and it offends God. “The fliers are based on science and logic,” according to Ritchie. Many students declined to take a pamphlet when offered while others ripped them apart as soon as they got them and threw them away.BU student Asa Whiters said, “I think it’s inhumane and uncivilized to judge a person on their sexual preference. We are all human. This is a hate free campus that embraces this community. They need to wake themselves up, it’s 2017.”


     As the protest continued, students began chanting “love is love” to overpower the sounds of the bagpipes. More people joined the human blockade with homemade signs. Students soon began showing up to the protest wearing angel wings made of white bed sheets similarly to how demonstrators blocked protesters from the funerals of the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooting victims.After about two hours, TFP packed up and started to walk off campus while singing. Students cheered and followed them through the quad to their bus parked by the library.Fortunately the protest proved to be peaceful. “It was civil on both sides, we had a couple complaints about the music but they complied,” said BU Police Chief Tom Philips.


     According to their website, the TFP is “an organization of lay Catholic Americans concerned about the moral crisis shaking the remnants of Christian civilization.” The national group, which is headquartered in central PA, has about 120,000 active members.