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Catholic Students Protest Tactics of Gay Activists

By Ivan Oransky

About 20 students carrying signs reading "Stop Anti-Catholic Bigotry" and "ACT-UP Tactics Go Beyond The Pale" protested at Dunster House last night, where a group of gay activists were screening a film.

The demonstrators, who identified themselves as "a group of concerned Catholic and non-Catholic students," said they were protesting the event because of a demonstration gay activists held at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston eariler this year.

The film focuses on the recent activities of the AIDS Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), the group which organized the spring demonstration at the Boston church. The Arts Organization for the Advancement of Sexual Minorities (ORGASM) sponsored the movie showing.

According to those protesting last night, the gay activists gathered in front of the cathedral last June chanting slogans such as "2-4-6-8, how do you know your priest is straight," and "If I can't have sex, no one else will either" on the same day that 11 men were being ordained.

The demonstrators said that when the gay activists' picketed the cathedral they were "crossing the revulsion threshold."

During yesterday's protest, participants lit red, white and blue candles, and stood outside the doorway of the Dunster House television room, where the film was being shown.

Approximately 10 students eventually filed into the television room past the protesters to watch the film.

Leaders of ORGASM said they hoped that protesters and other members of the Harvard community would discuss this matter with them further.

"I would hope that at Harvard and Radcliffe students would be intelligent enough to watch, learn and discuss--an integral part of tonight's meeting--rather than stand in ignorance and silence," ORGASM president Thomas B. Watson '91 said.

"The Catholic Church is responsible for misinformation and ignorance concerning AIDS. I appreciate that these protesters tonight have taken the first step to real actions. I call on each of them...to alleviate the suffering of AIDS and prevent the further spread of AIDS," Watson said.

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