The entire purpose of a university LGBT resource center is to provide resources that its students (and often faculty and staff) can utilize to have a positive college experience in spite of any stigma they might face on campus. This often includes connecting students to “safe spaces” on and off-campus that are LGBT-affirming. According to FoxNews.com, the resource center at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington is under fire for doing just that — offering a list of LGBT-affirming religious communities in the Wilmington area. What Fox News neglects to mention, however, is that the professor criticizing the list, Mike Adams, is a conservative columnist for Townhall who regularly attacks the LGBT community and non-Christians:
But Mike Adams, a criminology professor on campus who went from atheist to Christianity, said the university should not be in the business of recommending churches.
“It’s just amazing,” he told FoxNews.com. “It appears to me to be the height of not just silliness, but government waste.”
Adams just happens to be a professor at UNCW. He published his rant on Townhall today, including the list the resource center had sent out and snide commentary for each church on the list. And who did Fox News feature to support Adams’ claim that UNCW is “telling people where to go to church”? A representative from the Alliance Defense Fund, an anti-gay hate group.
At no point did Fox News bother to investigate what purpose the list might serve nor how it was generated. Instead, the entire point of the article is to provide a pedestal for Adams’ radically anti-gay views, including calling for the complete abolition of all on-campus LGBT resources. Proper context would have included data from last year’s higher education LGBT climate study, which found that LGBT university students experience high rates of harassment and discrimination that can impact their academic success and retention at the university. In other words, by creating a safe space for LGBT students, universities are actually likely to save money because the efforts will keep students enrolled at the university, and thus paying tuition.
Many campus life offices offer lists of religious communities, but Adams only seems concerned with the LGBT-affirming list. Perhaps his next complaint will be against offices of multicultural affairs for suggesting locations where students of color can get their hair cut.