Akron LGBTU leads protest against anti-gay politics

The University of Akron’s Quaker Station will play host to a special appearance by Rick Santorum 7 p.m. this Saturday, February 18. However, GOP faithfuls won’t be the only group greeting the Republican presidential candidate.

Santorum will be the guest of honor for the Summit County GOP’s annual Lincoln Day Dinner, which will also include voting in the Summit County straw poll.

Members of Akron LGBTU, spearheaded by Joe Barbicas, have arranged a protest of anti-gay politics that will take place during the Lincoln Day Dinner at Quaker Station. The protest starts at 5:30 p.m., as the Lincoln Day Dinner’s doors open at 6 pm. Anyone interested to attend the demonstration can RSVP on the official Facebook page.

Barbicas, a student at the University of Akron, says that the protest isn’t against Republicans, though, or even solely against Santorum.

“This is a protest against hate politics,” he says. “Rick Santorum just happens to embody what hate politics is. Hate politics to me is cashing in on people’s fear of another group of people.”

Barbicas says the protest will be peaceful and spread a message that words can’t do by themselves.

“I want this protest to send a clear message to Rick, and the world, that hate politics kill,” Barbicas says. “A clear message, however, involves that we protest on a level that a conservative group will understand. It only takes seconds for a conservative person to write this protest off as another liberal, prochoice, antichrist demonstration.”

Kent State also has students getting involved. Kent PRIDE! will be making signs for the demonstration, and a number of members will be attending Saturday night.

With help from multiple campuses and groups, Barbicas has one clear goal.

“I want them to see us, not through us,” he says. “See us as some of the Christians we are, or even – dare I say – conservatives we are! Some of us would love to be fiscally conservative, but first we need to be fiscally considered.”



Photo Credit for featured image: Rachel Kilroy, National Equality March, October 2009

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