Young America’s Foundation (YAF) has a chapter at the George Washington University (GW) based in Washington, DC. Established in 1969, YAF is a conservative academic organization geared to training young people on the principles of liberty, traditional Christian values and free enterprise.
Students at George Washington have recently accused YAF of committing an “act of violence.”
So what grievous thing did this non-violent, conservative group commit?
Well apparently they requested permission to be exempt from the university’s student association demand that YAF leaders take part in LGBT sensitivity training. The student association is in the process of passing a bill requiring attendance by leaders of all campus groups.
YAF did not oppose the training, it was simply asking its member be exempt based on their religious views.
Their request was apparently leaked to the student newspaper, GW Hatchet, which then approached the YAF for comment. After the article was published, the organization was immediately under siege.
In an article on YAF’s website, Amanda Robbins, who serves as a co-chair with the George Washington branch of YAF, stated:
They called us a “hate group,” “bigots,” “disgusting,” “gross,” “ignorant,” “intolerant,” a “cesspit” and a “cancer.” One commenter said, “These people are ISIS.” All this unfolded because we calmly asked the university to respect our organization’s religious principles.
Apparently, the sensitivity training would include sessions on the proper use of gender pronouns — which believe it or not — seems to be at the center of the controversy. Posting on GW’s student Facebook page, one gay pride group stated:
“And their refusal to use preferred gender pronouns should be considered an act of violence…”
Robbins noted the opposition is coming from students who have opposed YAF on a number of other issues. She said:
The same classmates who have ceaselessly berated us for years are calling us a hate group and claiming that we’re intolerant of their lifestyles? The same classmates who anonymously vandalized our quiet pro-life memorial last April, screamed down our speaker at an event, and are now comparing us to ISIS.
There are calls for the student association to pull its funding of YAF. However, the group is standing firm in the face of this brutal onslaught from a handful of student activists.
Robbins described GW as “a hostile environment for conservative students” and suggested Liberals should take sensitivity training on how to respectfully treat conservatives.
YAF believes its members have the right to decide for themselves if they want to attend sensitivity classes and it should not be forced upon anyone.
In an interview with the Christian Post, Amanda Robbins said the issue is fundamentally one of “free speech” and was unsure if the university would side on the issue of freedom.