Vice President Mike Pence gave a speech to the graduating class of Taylor University on Saturday, although not everyone chose to stay for it.
Dozens of students and faculty at the Indiana evangelical Christian college walked out in protest before Pence walked up to the podium, according to the Indianapolis Star. Most of the graduating class stayed for Pence’s speech and gave him a standing ovation.
I’m also seeing that a tweet I sent earlier didn’t post. Some faculty and graduates in the social work dept. wore stickers that said, “We are Taylor too” in protest of Pence’s presence at Taylor. Another graduate decorated her cap with a protest message. pic.twitter.com/g9PcfBNfJU
— Alexandria Burris (@AllyBurris)
May 18, 2019
So it’s hard to show on twitter from here but dozens of students are wearing a sticker that says “We are Taylor too,” which has been their form of protest. It’s a form of Rebuke against what they consider are Pence’s anti LGBTQ policies.
— Corey Ohlenkamp (@Ohlenkamp)
May 18, 2019
During his speech, Pence talked about how proudly calling yourself a Christian can open you up to bad-faith attacks.
“Throughout most of our American history it’s been pretty easy to call yourself a Christian, but things are different now,” Pence said. “Lately, it’s become acceptable, even fashionable, to malign traditional Christian beliefs. So as you prepare to leave this place and will your life on a Christ-centered, world-engaging foundation poured here at Taylor University, be prepared to stand up.”
After his speech, the protesters walked back inside the auditorium. Some students had protested Pence’s invitation to the school because of the stance on same-sex marriage he held during his tenure as Indiana governor.
“Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration’s policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear,” a petition to Taylor University read.
The petition, which was created last month, had reached over 8,000 signatures.