Liberty University students organize a #MeToo and LGBTQ+ demonstration on Liberty’s campus in response to comments made at CPAC

Between 20-30 Liberty University students organized a #MeToo and LGBTQ+ demonstration on Liberty’s campus March 6 in response to comments made by President Jerry Falwell Jr., Becki Falwell and Donald Trump Jr. at CPAC March 1. 

Some Liberty students and members of the community believe these comments to be transphobic and offensive to sexual assault victims. While some protested the treatment of LGBTQ+ students on campus, others demonstrated their support for the #MeToo movement.

What started as 11 demonstrators on the outside steps of the Montview Student Union at 11 a.m. gradually increased to around 25 by 1 p.m. The crowd did not exceed 30.

Students engaged in peaceful discussions. The demonstrators did not yell or chant.

Logan Smith | Liberty Champion
Students organize a demonstration on the back steps of Montview Student Union on March 6

According to Liberty senior business student Caleb Fitzpatrick, who participated in the demonstration, the event was designed to raise awareness for victims of sexual abuse.

“At the end of the day, if one student sees this and feels welcome … it was all worth it,” Fitzpatrick said. 

Vice President for Equity and Inclusion and Chief Diversity Officer, Greg Dowell, said Liberty works very hard to make every student, faculty, staff and for that matter, even visitors to the campus, that do not necessarily agree with the university’s mission or doctrinal statement, feel welcome.

“The offices that I oversee exist to ensure that Liberty is an inclusive and welcoming place,” Dowell said. “No external organization founded Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Liberty. It originated with our president. This is the message that needs to go out and be appreciated by all of our underrepresented groups.”

Dowell said though his door is open for students to engage in dialogue with his office about these matters, he is not aware of any such contact that has been made yet by the organizers of Wednesday’s protest — and he invites them to do so even now. 

Ryan Klinker | Liberty Champion
Students stretch a pride flag during the LGBTQ+ demonstration.

The gathering was comprised of different groups, including the LUforMeToo group, who exclusively demonstrated the importance of believing women who come forth with sexual assault allegations.

Becki Falwell’s comment about raising her granddaughter as a girl during CPAC prompted several pro LGBTQ+ students to gather. 

“She’s our granddaughter, and we’re raising her as a girl,” Becki Falwell said at CPAC in front of the Liberty convocation audience. “We’re not letting her have a choice. She’s what God designed (her to be). God makes the choice of what the babies are going to be, and God decided she would be a girl.”

Following Becki Falwell’s statement, Trump Jr. referenced #MeToo while discussing guns with Falwell Jr, using it in a context separate from its origin.

Ryan Klinker | Liberty Champion
Demonstrators held signs and engaged in peaceful discussion to raise awareness for victims of sexual abuse.

Later in an interview, Becki Falwell referenced Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s announcement of raising their baby gender neutral, saying it was unhealthy for the baby. 

Becki Falwell’s CPAC comment stemmed from her position that parents should raise children according to their biological gender, not force them into both gender roles early on. 

“I can’t imagine how confused a child would be in that situation growing up,” Becki Falwell said. “God has made the (gender) decision when the child is born, and they are either a boy or a girl. Once the child grows up, and comes of age, they have a right to decide if they’re not comfortable in their gender.”

Becki Falwell told the Champion she reached out to one of the protestors and engaged in productive conversation about the issues.

Some student spectators had differing opinions, particularly regarding the pro LBGTQ+ signs and the bright gay pride flag stretching across several demonstrators. Some of the LGBTQ+ signs contained Bible verses. 

According to junior Bethshan Serosh, who spent almost an hour conversing with different demonstrators, the LBGTQ+ lifestyle contradicted absolute truth taught in the Bible.  

“I don’t support it. I don’t think I can compromise on my morals and my God,” Serosh said. “There are two things: there is one absolute truth and (there are) opinions. People mix that.”

Another student spectator, Hannah Bremmer, appreciated that students expressed their concerns.   

“It’s really great seeing people stand up for what they believe in,” Bremmer said. “It makes me really happy.”

Although most demonstrators were Liberty students, some were visiting Liberty Mountain. 

Ryan Klinker | Liberty Champion
The demonstration started with 11 participants.

Among the visitors was Rev. Ashley Easter, an ordained minister through the Progressive Christian Alliance.

“I’m so thrilled to see students protesting in this way,” Easter said. “This is about creating awareness. It’s all about love.”

Sophomore Levi Link, another spectator, expressed his theological concerns with the demonstration.

“I don’t think we as Christians should be identifying solely by our gender or by our sexual preference,” Link said. “We should be identifying as children of God alone.”

The gathering ended at 3 p.m.

“I pray for all of them to understand and to know Jesus Christ as their savior,” Link said. “I hope that each and everyone one of these people seeks him and finds their true identity in Christ.”   

Logan Smith | Liberty Champion
Students pray together at the demonstration.

24 comments

  • Timothy D Williamson

    Evidently you no longer need to be a true Christian to attend Liberty. When I attend 71-75 you had to give a written testimony of your faith and walk with Christ. Not sure that still is required but there is no way a metoo and LGBTQ protest would have happened then, because people associated with those movements wouldn’t be attending classes at Lynchburg Baptist college.

    • For God so Loved “the World” … that includes every person and every creation in it.. It does not say, “ for God so loved heterosexuals and those who engage in sexual intercourse after marriage” .. Jesus Christ died for ALL, and ANYONE, who believes in HIM, will not parish, but have everlasting life. Your role here on this earth as a Christ Follower is to lead those who do not know Him to Him.. And you can not lead unbelievers by spewing hate. “ Christians” really need to re-evaluate their understanding of Christ’s love.. and sacrifice … He loved RADICALLY!! So why should the rest of us not love radically! And show the world the Love and transforming power of That love? I choose LOVE! Over HATE and ignorance… and if I am judged by God for loving people .. then so be it… but what I know! God uses me every day to help those who are tired and weary, He uses my gifts that He gave to me to use for HIS glory ! Not mine! And if He was angry with me over supporting the LGBTQ COMMUNITY… I don’t imagine he would continue to use me in this way… He loves the world! The broken, the abused, the lost, the hurting.. that is all of us .. we all have soul wounds… and it’s time to stop hiding behind mans code of morality… how moral were you the last time you looked at a woman with lust in your heart?? Oh but.. it’s Hetero .. so it’s ok and forgiveable at church on Sunday, right? Wrong! #METOO #LGBTQ #PRIDE

      • So would you agree that homosexuality is a result of brokenness that can be made whole by faith in Christ? I hope so. I Cor. 6 9-11: “9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men[homosexuals] 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you WERE. BUT you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

    • I thought God was the judge of that.

      • I Cor. 5:11-13: “11 But now I am writing you not to associate with anyone who claims to be a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a verbal abuser, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. 12 What business of mine is it to judge those outside the church ? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked man from among you.”

        We are most certainly to judge those who call themselves Christians and hold one another to the Biblical standard. Perhaps what you mean to say is, “I thought God was the only one who condemns.” That is true; we don’t have the power to condemn, we have the mandate to judge. Although we could rightly say, “If you do not repent of this immoral behavior, God will, as a matter of justice, condemn you.”

    • Ok, I get your objection to the LGBTQ stuff, and that’s fine, if that’s what floats your boat. But…did you just refer to the exposure of perpetrators of sexual assault via the #metoo movement anti-Christian?

      Wow, if that’s not a billboard for young people to run from Christianity, I don’t know what is…

  • So sad to see this in the school where I graduated from in 1997. There use to be standards there and it was Christian. Now look what has happened. God help this school and JL Falwell needs to repent. Allowing such sinful activity.

  • I truly hope that LU does not sway from its guiding principals under God and its founder, Jerry Falwell Sr. When I was a student there in the late 80’s, if anyone was found to have engaged in homosexuality they would be expelled. I see signs like the woman in another photo on this story which read “Here, Queer and Jesus loves me” (if she was even a student) and I have to wonder if LU is slipping away from those principals just to appear more tolerant. I couldn’t do everything I wanted to do at LU. I wanted to grow long hair as a guy, but I would be reprimanded every time it touched my collar! But I respected the school’s rules, knowing that I had a more important motive in attending the school. I’m not saying be tyrants…slacking in dress code a little is no big deal. But when LU begins to accept things that aren’t Biblical, it’s time to reevaluate what’s going on there. I don’t know all the “do’s and dont’s” there anymore, but I fear that the erosion has begun even if it’s small yet. There is no harm in expelling students who don’t comply with the school’s vision and purpose. As much as Jesus loves all people, many will not enter the kingdom of heaven, sadly. It’s better to be right than to conform.

    • Hi Charles- Where is it written in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin? Also, I noticed that Liberty didn’t have a problem welcoming an admitted sexual assaulter to deliver a convocation in September 2017. Do you see any problems with that? Could you see any conflict with your school’s charter by giving someone like that a platform? I can give a reference to that sexual assaulter’s clear admission of guilt if you need me to provide it.

  • Marshall Buckles

    Bottom line, here, is that, for the time being, Liberty University, being a private university, can promote whatever world view it wishes to promote much like the other private colleges and universities often do. Liberty does not have to admit anybody – in the United States college attendance is a privilege granted NOT a right which can be demanded. If these students (and I wonder if they are actually Liberty students or if they just managed to get admitted for the purpose of this sort of activity) do not like Liberty University then they need to leave and go to college elsewhere more to their liking. There are plenty of other colleges and universities where what they are doing will be supported.

  • I don’t think the Falwells expressed any intolerance in their comments. Cultural Marxists have convinced people that not condoning or glorifying people’s behavior is to be intolerant.

  • While CHRISTians accept sinners and their may be LGBT at Liberty, the Church is here and Christ is here to lead sinners to repentance and a relationship with Christ. Liberty, I believe, is a safe pace for all despite lifestyle, but do not expect the believer to condone the sin. We can and should disagree when we know TRUTH. However, we are to only judge fellow believers (in love) and lead the non-believer to Christ, if they choose to accept Him! Then we pray if they do not!

  • While I dont agree with every cause or every stance the demonstrators were there supporting… it is great to see students, faculty, and others from both sides of the aisle able to speak calmly and have productive discussions about difficult issues. No riots, no swearing, no ad hominem attacks. Good for everyone on both sides.

  • Becki Falwell is correct, God’s Word is Truth. God created us Male & Female and for me that settles it!
    I sure hope this situation doesn’t change LU into a Liberal school. Please continue to stand with the late Dr Jerry Falwell, Sr values for this Christian University! I helped support him and this school with my $10 – 20 dollars as it began and I certainly don’t want to see it destroyed by young liberals.
    I prayed my twin granddaughters to come there & they hopefully will graduate this May. Looking forward to graduation!

    • Zachary Washington-Bosco

      Its a shame you are so narrow minded. I went to a Christian college in Tennessee and am no longer Christian but am Humanist and Unitarian. I love my Unitarian church and am a proud Gay man of color. I am very happy that the college I attended in Tennessee is now on record as Gay friendly. Also, I took a class online with Liberty some years ago and left that class because I didnot think that I would want to continue with a school that would not welcome me and my husband at graduation. I don’t have a problem with disagreement but I do have a problem with intolerance in the name of religion. But you know what, as I see what is going on here and considering the value at Liberty I may just reenroll, and your $10, $20 won’t stop me LOL. Hate is not a family value! People like you make me glad to not be christian! Have a bless day!

    • What about Intersex ppl? 1 in every 1500-2000 babies are born Intersex. They may look like a man, but they have genitalia that it somewhere between Male & female, but have XX Chromosomes & are attracted to men. Same goes for someone who looks like a Woman, has genitalia that’s somewhere between Male & female, but has XY chromosomes & is attracted to women.

      Where in the Bible does it discuss these ppl & how they’re supposed to behave or identify?

      It doesn’t say. I suppose the ppl who wrote the OT & NT weren’t privy to every scientific discovery yet to come. SMH.

      Humans are on a spectrum for EVERYTHING: they’re hair color, eye color, skin color, personality traits, etc etc. There’s quite obviously a spectrum for gender & sexual orientation. Intersex ppl are a perfect example.

      What happens when the science comes out that identifies how/why someone might be born transgendered or attracted to the same sex? I guess the Church will just apologize & walk it back, like they’ve done on other major social issues like slavery & women’s rights.

      Just another moment where the Church will be on the wrong side of history.

      • I am curious as to how many LGBTQ+++ people at Liberty are “intersex”? Maybe they have a legitimate something. Everyone can be quiet.

  • I don’t think the Falwells expressed any intolerance. Just not condoning or glorifying people’s behavior is to be intolerant.

  • Hi Charles- Where is it written in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin? Also, I noticed that Liberty didn’t have a problem welcoming an admitted sexual assaulter to deliver a convocation in September 2017. Do you see any problems with that? Could you see any conflict with your school’s charter by giving someone like that a platform? I can give a reference to that sexual assaulter’s clear admission of guilt if you need me to provide it.

    • Are you that ignorant that you can’t at least find one of the more than thirteen places in Scripture where homosexuality is condemned. Start with Romans. Then look at Deuteronomy. If you need exact scripture reference look up sodomy or its equivalence in Strong’s Conc.

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