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Tags: ben sasse | university of florida | lgbtq | marriage | president | nebraska | senator

Univ. of Florida Students, Faculty Protest Sasse Appointment Over LGBTQ Issues

By    |   Monday, 10 October 2022 06:56 PM EDT

Students and faculty at the University of Florida are opposing the nomination of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to be the school's next president, saying his previous stances on LGBTQ issues do not align with those of the university.

Approximately 200 students showed up Monday outside a question-and-answer session at the campus, chanting "Hey hey, ho ho. Ben Sasse has got to go," the Tampa Bay Times reported.

The chants could be heard inside the ballroom where Sasse was speaking and forced a later meeting with faculty to be moved online.

As of early Monday evening, more than 700 had signed a Change.org petition addressed to the university's board of trustees, urging them not to hire Sasse, who is the only finalist for the job.

Student protesters' demands include Sasse declining the job and the board of trustees releasing the names of all 12 people they had interviewed for the post, the Times reported.

Sasse on Monday sought to clarify a statement he made in 2015 following the Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges ruling, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, The Hill reported.

"Marriage brings a wife and husband together so their children can have a mom and dad," Sasse said at the time. "As a society, we need to celebrate marriage as the best way to provide stability and opportunity for kids."

Sasse's website still lists the "sanctity of marriage" a top priority, The Hill noted, and he has been critical of the Respect for Marriage Act, which the House has passed. The federal legislation would require all states to recognize same-sex and interracial unions as valid. (Democrats and liberal commentators have said they fear conservatives next will target interracial marriages.)

But Sasse said Monday that Obergefell v. Hodges is the "law of the land" and it will not be changing.

He said he seeks "inclusion," if and when he becomes president of the school.

"I believe in the universal dignity and the immeasurable worth of every single person. All the tens of millions of Floridians, all … 56,000 students here, all 30,000 faculty and staff," Sasse said. "Every person has immeasurable worth and dignity, and we need to create a community of inclusion and respect and trust where people feel heard and appreciated and cherished."

Not everyone was moved.

Sophomore Lucca Carlson told the Times he had expected a conservative appointment to the post, but said he was surprised it was a politician who was a current officeholder whom Carlson said "had publicly made hateful statements."

Junior Andrew Taramykin told the Times he believes Sasse's political experience got him to the position, rather than his previous experience as a college president.

Sasse served as president of the small (approximately 1,000-student) Midland Lutheran College (now Midland University) from 2010 to 2014. The University of Florida's current president, Kent Fuchs, came into the job from Cornell University, where he served as provost.

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Politics
Students and faculty at the University of Florida are opposing the nomination of Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., to be the school's next president, saying his previous stances on LGBTQ issues do not align with those of the university.
ben sasse, university of florida, lgbtq, marriage, president, nebraska, senator
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2022-56-10
Monday, 10 October 2022 06:56 PM
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