Two students who held up a homophobic banner at a Chinese university have attracted the ire of the country’s LGBTI community.
‘Protect Chinese traditional mores, defend core socialist values, resist corrosion from decadent Western thoughts, and keep homosexuality far from the university campus,’ the banner read.
The photo of the two women holding the banner was posted on the Chinese social networking site Qzone.
The photo was taken at Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) in Wuhan, central China.
HUST women’s basketball coach, Ling Bing, posted the photo which featured two of his player on Sunday.
‘It’s the wish of the public, which I always bear in my heart,’ the caption on the post read.
One of the girls posted on her Qzone account that ‘the women’s basketball team used to be disaster area for homosexuality’.
‘But after our positive education and reform, there are very few gay people left on the women’s basketball team,’ she wrote.
Gay HUST student Linlin — not his real name — was angry when he saw the photo and said players in the basketball team used to bully their lesbian team mates.
‘I have never seen such specific exclusion or discrimination committed with such great fanfare,’ he told Sixth Tone.
HUST’s policy was that it would not discriminate against LGBTI students and its counselling center had sent emails to students educating them on LGBTI issues. The university even posted graduation photos on social media from last year of students holding rainbow flags.
The university told Sixth Tone it would soon release an official statement on the incident.
HUST was known ‘relatively friendly campus’ for LGBTI students according to Wuhan Companion LGBT Center staff member Huang Haojie.
‘Many LGBT students experience a lot of psychological pressure because of their sexual orientation,’ he said.
‘[The people holding the banner] have freedom of speech, but they don’t have the right to attack the gay community.’