Middlebury College Cancels Lecture by Polish Conservative Ryszard Legutko

AP Photo/Lisa Rathke

Middlebury College canceled a lecture this week by Polish philosopher and politician Ryszard Legutko after students criticized his beliefs on feminism and homosexuality.

According to a report from The College Fix, polish conservative Ryszard Legutko was forced to give his scheduled lecture at Middlebury College this week in secret after college administrators canceled his event. Members of the Middlebury community, including students and faculty, had expressed concern over Legutko’s views on feminism and homosexuality.

“I don’t understand why anyone should want to be proud of being a homosexual,” Legutko said in 2011, according to the Guardian. “Be proud of what you do, not of being a homosexual.”

After news of Legutko’s scheduled visit circulated around campus, students prepared protest efforts. One student said that they felt that it would be irresponsible to not protest against the event.

“As someone who cares about making this campus a better, more thoughtful place, I think it would be irresponsible not to protest against such a person’s presence,” one student told the Middlebury student newspaper. “I intend on exercising my own right to free speech and protest by refusing to allow Legutko to speak here without informing the community of his harmful ideas.”

In a Facebook post, an organizer of the student protester wrote that they did not intend to have the event canceled. “It is absolutely, unequivocally not the intent of this protest and those participating in this protest to prevent Legutko from speaking,” the student wrote. “Disruptive behavior of this nature will not be tolerated. If you are planning to sit in on the lecture, please keep this in mind. It is extremely important for a number of reasons that we do not shut down this event.”

The event was ultimately canceled by administrators in response to the backlash. Student organizers quickly arranged for an alternative venue and the event proceeded in secret. You can watch some of that secret event below.


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