Conservatives Come Out, 'Queer' Group Protests

Members of an informal student group called the Queer Resistance Front filled the steps of the Harvard-Radcliffe Hillel last night to protest the Second Annual Conservative "Coming Out" dinner, which was being held upstairs.

Bullhorn in hand, Anna M. Baldwin '00 led about 30 poster-toting protestors, who chanted "Shame! Shame! Shame!" as dinner guests made their way in to the event.

The dinner was sponsored by the Harvard-Radcliffe Republican Club (HRRC), Jews for Conservative Politics (JCP) and the Salient, a conservative campus publication.

"We're protesting the appropriation of 'coming out' by conservatives on this campus, mainly because it is insidious to draw a comparison between coming out as a homosexual and as a Republican," said Michael K.T. Tan '01, who demonstrated outside of Hillel before dinner began.

According to Baldwin, the Queer Resistance Front shares many members with the Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters' Alliance (BGLTSA) but is not affiliated with either the group or the College.

Although several protestors huddled outside of the second-floor room where the dinner was being held, none attempted to enter or disrupt the dinner.

Toward the end of the dinner, David B. Orr '01--who is chair of the Undergraduate Council's Anti-Homophobia Task Force and also attended last night's event--spoke to the conservative students assembled.

Orr said the conservatives were "insensitive to explicitly borrow language from the gay rights movement" for the name of the dinner, as well as to schedule the event on World AIDS Day, a day commemorating victims of AIDS and dedicated to raising awareness about the illness.