Dayton Rally: Put Down Your Signs
Posted by Ruth Deddens (June 21, 2012 at 6:21 pm)
After the rally began, campus police told the approximately 400 attendees they had to put their signs on the ground. Nothing like it happened at any of the other 160-some noon rallies at cities around the country.
Bryan Kemper, one of the rally’s speakers, says he’s never seen anything like it. Now Youth Outreach Coordinator for Priests for Life, Kemper has had a long career in pro-life work with teens and young adults. The founder both Rock for Life and Stand True Pro-Life Outreach, he has spoken at rallies and events around the country for more than a decade. “This is a first,” he says.
Fr. Kyle Schnippel, Vocations Director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, opened the rally, which included numerous short talks. After the second talk, he says, “the MC was interrupted, an organizer came over and told us we had to lower our signs.
“It was odd for all of us who where there,” he says. “There was even a banner 10 to 12 feet across they had to take down. I’ve never heard of anything like this.”
Fr. Schnippel said the speakers were told the sign ban had something to do with complaints from members of a homosexual organization at the school. Ruth Deddens, the rally captain, said the student sponsors of the group, the Traditional Values Club, had received emails that bothered them two days before the rally. The Dayton Daily News cited previous frictionbetween the TV Club and the BriTe SiGnaL Alliance, a group for gay students.
The college told the Dayton Daily News its sign policy is being reviewed. Kemper, who gave away pro-life stickers on the sidewalk because of Sinclair’s restrictions, says the school’s actions “will not go unchallenged.” And the students whose complaints were said to have started the campus police’s intervention? “I started my talk saying that I didn’t agree with them, but I would fight for their right to carry signs. I would fight for any group’s right to carry signs.”
Click here for Bryan Kemper’s blog post on the rally, including videos of a discussion with campus police and his rally speech.
Photos courtesy Stand Up for Religious Freedom Dayton. Click here for a gallery of photos from the Rally’s Facebook Page.