Students debate protest content

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Daryl Rodriguez, a five-year pro-life minister, hosts an event to educate students on the “evils and injustices” of abortion, which prompted debates among students Feb. 19 in the mall. Shamar Mims

Director of ministry will not censor signs.

By Austin P. Taylor

ataylor160@student.alamo.edu

This college’s Student Government Association will look into the content protestors are allowed to display on campus.

Love of Truth Ministries held a “free speech” rally against abortion Feb. 19 in the mall. The ministry used signs showing aborted fetuses to educate students on the “evils and injustices of abortion.”

Meeting attendees took issue with the protest’s graphic material.

Liberal arts sophomore Sheyar Jiwani, who counter-protested the ministry’s gathering, said she had an issue with the signs and how they might affect children on campus.

“There were little children walking around campus with teachers who weren’t aware this was going on,” she said. “I had to send people twice to stop them from walking into that area.”

Criminal justice freshman Spencer Taylor said he thinks the ministry has the right to show graphic content, but he said the demonstration should be in an area with less student traffic.

SGA President Kayla Salwey said this wasn’t the first time SGA received complaints about the ministry but SGA is pro-freedom of speech, and there is no reason to keep the ministry from assembling.

Communications sophomore Nicholas Delunay took issue with the ministry’s graphic material.

“If we’re going to have that type of thing, why does it need to be explicit?” he said.

In an interview with The Ranger Feb. 23, Dr. Daryl Rodriguez, president of Love of Truth Ministries, said the posters are used to “educate people about what abortion is.”

“It’s a moral violation toward the law of God,” he said. “We should be honest about what it is.”

Rodriguez said while the organization’s protests do not target children, it is part of the effect of free speech.

When the ministry or other organizations want to protest at this college, they must get approval from the office of student life.

While SGA does not know how it would ask Rodriguez to censor his content, Rodriguez said he would resist any attempt at censorship.

“I wouldn’t agree to it,” Rodriguez said. “I believe it’s against my constitutional rights.”

Rodriguez said he’d seek legal counsel if he believes it is necessary.

During the anti-abortion rally, two counter-protestors, a man and a woman, vandalized several signs and splashed water on anti-abortion protesters.

A video of the altercation was posted on the ministry’s Facebook page.

Rodriguez plans to pursue legal action against the man. He will not pursue legal action against the woman who splashed water on him because she agreed to apologize on video.

As of now, Rodriguez has not posted the woman’s apology.

For more information on Love of Truth Ministries, visit the group’s website loveoftruthministries.com, call Rodriguez at 210-867-7268 or email him at daryl@loveoftruthministries.com.

Any student who would like to submit a formal complaint about the content of Love of Truth Ministries’ rally or any other organization’s should submit them to Room 101 of the nursing complex.

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