Westboro Baptist Church will be speaking at UoN society event
They featured in Louis Theroux documentaries
The University of Nottingham’s PPE society has invited extremely controversial group Westboro Baptist Church to a society event they are hosting early next month.
The group, well known for featuring on Louis Theroux documentary ‘The Most Hated Family in America’, are widely known for their intolerant views on homosexuality.
They’ve infamously been quoted saying “God Hates F*gs”.
Many students have, unsurprisingly, expressed their disappointment and anger towards the University for allowing the group to attend an official society event.
Charley, a third year liberal arts student, said the University’s decision has made her feel “quite sick”.
She told the Tab Nottingham: “I came to Notts uni and the city to be somewhere that advocated inclusivity and openness to all no matter their identity: race, colour, gender, etc.
“The decision that Notts has made has made me question the university and what it stands for, or at least what I thought it was able to provide for me. I’m all for inclusivity until that inclusivity supports an exclusivity in a violent and aggressive manner.”
A second year politics student at the University added: “It’s a bit disappointing and hurtful that the university would provide and approve a platform to a well documented anti-LGBT group whose agenda is discriminatory against the community.
“Although debate is welcome and I appreciate the arguments made that, perhaps, they can be ‘exposed’ on discussion panels, I personally do not feel comfortable with allowing these types of groups the opportunity to spread their harmful rhetoric and legitimise their standing.”
as a queer alumnus i would love to know why .@UniofNottingham have invited the literal westboro baptist church to an event???? you know, those "fags burn in hell" guys??? are you actively trying to make your lgbtq students feel unsafe or…….
— feral streep / ACAB (@duloxequeen) October 23, 2020
The PPE society took to Facebook to defend their decision, saying that the group were invited to the online Q&A session so it can discuss “whether us being intolerant of ‘intolerant’ people demonstrates hypocrisy, or instead, if it is the one type of ‘acceptable’ intolerance.”
A University of Nottingham Students’ Union spokesperson said: “Neither the Students’ Union, the University, nor the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society, in any way condones the actions and statements of the Westboro Baptist Church.
“This closed online event is restricted to members of the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Society only, as part of an event series exploring the nature of intolerance.
“The Students’ Union will monitor the event and intervene to shut it down were there to be any speech that might be considered unlawful.”
The Westboro Baptist Church has confirmed that a member of its church will take part in the online event next month.