University College Dublin’s (UCD) LGBTQ+ society has said it is “saddened” that a controversial anti-contraceptive advocate, who has called homosexuality “disordered”, was invited to speak at the college.
Jason Evert, a Catholic minister from Arizona and prominent chastity campaigner, has been invited to speak as part of a three-day summit for university students.
Evert believes that contraception pressures women into being “constantly sexually available”, and has also said that homosexuality is “disordered”.
In a statement, UCD’s LGBTQ+ society said: “We at the UCD LGBTQ+ Society are saddened to hear that the homophobic and anti-contraceptive US preacher Jason Evert has been invited to UCD to speak as part of a three day summit for university students.”
The statement continued: “Mr Evert’s preaching has direct negative repercussions on all that our university stands for. His ideology and printed work continuously spread hate by insisting that ‘homosexuality is a disorder’.”
“UCD is celebrated for being a diverse and inclusive campus where all can feel safe to be themselves. By inviting Mr Evert and his ideologies into the campus the organisers, and by extension UCD, are putting the safety of UCD’s LGBTQ+ community at risk. Mr.Evert’s words can have lasting and damaging effects on the mental wellbeing of LGBTQ+ students within the university.”
“For this reason”, the statement said, “we ask that UCD take a stand and stop Evert from attending the Ignite 2020 gathering on the 16th of January as we strongly believe not only will telling any young person they are disordered could do lasting untold damage. Bringing this kind of hateful ideology into the university will only spread the ideology further into the student body damaging all the work for equality, diversity and inclusion that the university has been working on over the past three decades”.
Evert is due to give a number of talks around the country next week. However, TheJournal.ie yesterday reported that two of these talks appear to have been cancelled.
Evert has a master’s degree in theology and runs the Chastity Project with his wife Crystalina. Their website listed a number of talks Evert was due to give in Dublin and Waterford next week but the entire list has since been removed.
A video in which Evert discussed his upcoming trip to Ireland has also been removed from his YouTube channel, following widespread criticism of the visit online.
Controversy arose in UCD last October after UCD for Life, an anti-abortion group based on the campus, accused UCD Student’s Union of removing posters advertising a screening of Unplanned, a film with anti-abortion themes. The union denied removing the posters.