- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 12, 2016

The University of California, Irvine, is encouraging students to attend “safe zone training” after posters advertising Breitbart News editor Milo Yiannopoulos‘ “Dangerous Faggot Tour” sparked concerns.

The posters reportedly featured past statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos, a gay conservative, such as “Make America Gay Again,” and “if you can take a d—, you can take a joke.” Members of the campus chapter of Young Americans for Liberty and the College Republicans are responsible for plastering the posters around campus ahead of Mr. Yiannopoulos‘ June 2 event, according to The Tab, a news website by young journalists.

In an email to the campus community Monday evening, Douglas Haynes, the university’s Vice Provost for Academic Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, wrote that the posters used “offensive language directed at members of the campus community,” The Tab reported.

“One such poster included the word ‘faggotry.’ Homophobia — as well as other forms of bias — contradicts our campus’ enduring commitment to inclusive excellence,” Mr. Haynes wrote. “This incident is all the more distressing as it occurred a day after the third annual Anteater Equity Games,” an event dedicated to “learning about and appreciating the richness of our campus diversity, including the lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and queer community.”

Mr. Haynes encouraged students to take advantage of the resources that the school’s LGBT Resource Center provides.

“I myself benefitted from Safe Zone training,” he wrote. “There are now hundreds of staff and faculty who have completed this training. There is always room for more allies.”

The UCI College Republicans stood firm behind the posters.

“The posters we created to promote the event, I have been told, invaded some ‘safe spaces,’ ” the group’s president, Ariana Rowlands, told The Tab. “Despite their controversial nature, the posters generated a reaction … The posters did their job: they created a thought within the minds of students that they would not have otherwise had.”

The UCI Young Americans for Liberty, however, made it clear that the content on the posters was not condoned or endorsed by board members.

“Anyone who takes issue with use of homophobic slurs ought to note that Milo has titled his speaking tour as ‘The Dangerous Faggot Tour’ and this is simply a statement of fact, not at all an attempt to be derogatory,” the group said in a statement, The Tab reported.

The next safe zone training session at UC Irvine is scheduled for Tuesday and promises to teach individuals “to identify as Allies that are informed, supportive, and affirming of the LGBTQA community at UC Irvine.”

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