“LGBTI Panel is not a black stain on universities!”

An LGBTI organization started a petition following the decision of the rectorate of İnönü University to ban the panel to which Kaos GL was invited.

Source: “LGBTİ paneli üniversiteler için ‘kara leke’ değildir!” (“LGBTI Panel is not a black stain on universities!”), Kaos GL, April 3, 2015, kaosgl.com/sayfa.php?id=19105

After the rectorate banned the panel on LGBTI rights at İnönü University, Malatya, reactions from social media and LGBTI organizations ensued.

Protest and petitions on social media

Many users on social media criticized the homophobic stance of the university administration through the hashtag #HomofobikİnönüÜniversitesi.

The panel was to be held as a part of Rainbow Coalition Against Discrimination (Ayrımcılığa Karşı Gökkuşağı Koalisyonu), organized by Kaos GL and Pembe Hayat. LGBTI platforms under Malatya Gökkuşağı LGBTİ (Malatya Rainbow LGBTI) initiative have started a petition against the banning of the panel.

The panel  titled “Gender and Sexual Orientation” was organized by the PDR Group and among the participants was Kaos GL. The petition has been written as a reaction to the fact that the panel was not found appropriate by İnönü University’s administration. The petition condemns the justification of the said ban by the administration which states that they “do not want to be associated with these matters” and notes below points:

“We will not be deterred by the attitude of the rectorate!”

The administration is said to be refraining from association with the subjects of LGBTI, sexuality, gender identity and sexual orientation on the grounds that these are threatening for the university. Furthermore, the administration claimed that the panel was rejected because Ali Erol from Kaos GL Organization and Evren E. Çakmak are not “agreeable people”.

“If the panel was held, it would have been a local activity of the Rainbow Against Discrimination project, supported by an EU Delegation, and the Pembe Hayat and Kaos GL organizations.”

“We condemn the HOMOPHOBIC and TRANSPHOBIC stance of İnönü University! The Rectorate should recognize the fact that panels that are/will be organized on the subjects of ‘LGBTI, sexuality, gender identity, sexual orientation’ are not “black stains” and that they have a great role in the training of all professional fields. We know that just like all realms of life, İnönü University is an educational institution with students of diverse identities. In the street, at work, in the parliament and schools; we have existed, we do exist and we will continue to show our existence! Therefore, the attitude carried by the rectorate will not deter us but on the contrary it will strengthen our struggle against homophobia and transphobia.”

The petition is open to individual signatures as well as institutional signatures. To support the campaign, you can sign the petition here.