Anti-transgender speaker causes controversy at Washburn

March 30, 2022 GMT

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — The president of Washburn University said he does not support the message of an anti-transgender speaker who speak at the Topeka school.

Right-wing conservative Michael J. Knowles is scheduled to give a speech titled “Banning Transgenderism” on Thursday, which is International Transgender Day of Visibility, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.

University president Jerry Farley said in an email to the campus on Tuesday that he supports free speech but does not condone making others feel unwelcome or unsafe.

“While we support the right to speak freely, Washburn University does not condone the hate and misinformation spread by the speaker and his supporters,” Farley said.

Knowles, who has a show on The Daily Wire media platform and a podcast with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, is a frequent speaker at college campuses.

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In his podcast Wednesday, Knowles challenged Farley to cite specific examples of “hate and misinformation” in his speeches.

His visit to Washburn is sponsored by the university’s College Republican group.

A demonstration is planned before Knowles’ speech to show support for Washburn’s LGBTQ community.