University of Central Arkansas: Administration Removes Pro-LGBTQ Lady Gaga Quote From Library Sign


University of Central Arkansas

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In June 2019, the University of Central Arkansas library celebrated Pride Month by curating an exhibit of LGBTQ-themed books and highlighting the library’s online collection of resources on LGBTQ issues. The librarians also included a Lady Gaga quote — “Being gay is like glitter. It never goes away” — on a sandwich board sign outside the library. A day after it was set up, the university’s administration directed its removal, citing the “personal” nature of the viewpoint and the possibility that minors on campus might see the sign. On June 21, 2019, FIRE wrote to the university, observing that the First Amendment, academic freedom, and a recently-adopted Arkansas law militated against censoring the librarians’ sign. After UCA responded that the sign, in a public area of campus, was not “in a designated public forum,” and after FIRE learned that the removal was precipitated by complaints from a state legislator, FIRE again wrote to the university, which never restored the sign.