On April 1-2, Harvard University will play host to an event called the "Social Transformation Conference," sponsored by the Harvard Extension Service and Leadership Society, featuring some of the most vocal, aggressive, and virulent leaders from the religious right -- people who blame homosexuality, Islam, and women's rights for the downfall of America, and who have financial ties to efforts in Uganda to pass an Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would institute the death penalty or life imprisonment for LGBT people.
The guests at this conference include:
- Dr. Lance Wallnau, who recently said: "You've got Islam invading the United States. So you've got your homosexual activity, your abortion activity here, Islam coming in, you've got a financial collapse -- all of this, to those of us who are Christians, is an apocalyptic confirmation that when you remove God from public discourse, when you don't line up your thinking with kingdom principles, you inevitably hit an iceberg like the Titanic and you go down."
- Os Hillman, who is a close colleague and financial backer of a minister in Uganda named Julius Oyet, who has perhaps been the most vocal religious leader urging for passage of the country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill, colloquially known as the "Kill the Gays" bill.
- Larry Bizette, who fought against efforts in Baton Rouge to recognize LGBT people, by telling city leaders that if they recognized gay folks, it would be akin to honoring "sin" and an "abomination."
- Dr. Jerry Anderson, whose organization, the La Red Business Network, adheres to a "morality" policy that believes same-sex marriage and reproductive rights should be outlawed in every facet of society.
- Dr. Bil Hamon, who believes that homosexuality is akin to incest and sex with animals, and who argues on his Web site that people should adhere to the biblical principle that homosexuality should be punished by execution.
Why is Harvard University and the Harvard Extension Service and Leadership Society willing to put their name, branding, and sponsorship all over this event? Is this the type of event on campus that creates an environment that honors Harvard's rich commitment to students of varying faiths, genders, sexual orientations, and religions? Absolutely not.
Send Harvard a message that this conference doesn't belong on campus with the University's support and sponsorship. This event is giving a platform to some of the most hateful and vengeful rhetoric on the religious right -- targeted at LGBT people, women, Muslims, and anyone considered an "other". It doesn't belong at Harvard.