Members of the Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian Student Association (BGLSA) plan to gather tomorrow to protest remarks made by Thomson Professor of Government Harvey C. Mansfield Jr. '53.
At a BGLSA meeting last night, students decided to meet on the Widener steps at 1 p.m. and then to stage an eat-in at the Harvard Union.
Members said they will read an open letter to the Harvard community, in which they will defend Mansfield's right to free speech but challenge him to produce data and evidence to support his statements.
Mansfield, elaborating on his testimony Monday in a Colorado civil rights trial, told The Crimson Tuesday that he thinks homosexual love is "imperfect and stunted and frustrated" because it "does not lead to procreation."
Students attending the meeting said they fervently supported Mansfield's right to speech, but felt that a clear response was necessary.
BGLSA Co-chair Robert E. Giannino '95 cited the speech issue: "Voltaire or Moliere once said, `I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend your your right to say it until my death.'"
The group chose the Widener protest from anumber of suggestions, including a candlelightvigil or a campus-wide march.
"We don't want to create too much of a hoopla,"said Giannino.
"If we over-respond, that only gives Mansfieldmore credibility and publicity," said Dennis K.Lin '93-'94, another BGLSA co-chair.
However, the group did entertain thepossibility of sitting-in on Mansfield's classesonce he returns from a year leave.
Invitation to Tea
BGLSA members said they also plan to invite thegovernment professor to "tea" or to one of theirmeetings to discuss his remarks.
Throughout the meeting, the group jeered atMansfield's claims that gay and lesbians cover uptheir unhappiness with "style" and that theycontribute to national life by excelling in thearts.
"It would be nice to say to him," joked Lin,"that gay and lesbians are just like everyone elsein that they don't excel in anything.
Many students at the meeting said they wereangry because they felt Mansfield was using hisassociation with Harvard to substantiate hisviews.
"The public might think that because he is aprofessor here, his words carry the implicitapproval of Harvard," said BGLSA Co-chair NatashaE. Litt '95.
The group plans to increase its posteringeffort with signs that feature the names ofprominent bisexual, gay or lesbian historicalpersonalities in the middle of a quotation thatreads: "Professor Mansfield thinks [historicalfigure] undermines civilization.