Christian minister Christopher Yuan’s polarizing Friday talk drew response ranging from applause to tears and prompted Dwight Hall leaders to request Yuan move his scheduled Saturday event out of the Dwight Hall library.
“I don’t know why Dwight Hall wouldn’t want to be affiliated with [Yuan’s] message of love,” said Esther Kim ’13, a member of Yale Students for Christ. “It makes me sad that people think the gospel [Yuan] is bringing with him is one that is belligerent or hurtful to people.”
Alexandra Brodsky ’12, Co-Coordinator of the Student Executive Committee for Dwight Hall, said that when Yale Students for Christ booked the Dwight Hall library, they did not specify that their intention was to host Yuan. Brodsky became aware of this fact after attending the Friday talk, which prompted her and other Dwight Hall executive committee members to ask Yuan to switch locations because his message was “one of bigotry and hatred.”
Yuan, an HIV-positive professor and minister who teaches about sexuality and HIV/AIDS, was originally invited to Yale to educate campus Christian groups. But criticism that Yuan seeks to reverse homosexual behavior drew many LGBTQ community members to sit in on the talk and voice strong opposition to his message.
“He was talking about homosexuality as something that is unholy, is immoral, and should be looked down upon,” said Marina Keegan ’12, President of the Yale College Democrats. “He is encouraging people to fight something innate to them – that to me is incredibly hateful.”
Yuan spoke on Friday evening at the Af-Am House Gallery about his Christian faith and its impact upon his personal identity. He discussed biblical interpretations of homosexuality on Saturday Morning in Linsly-Chittenden Hall.
Correction: April 3, 2011
An earlier version of this article misspelled Marina Keegan’s ’12 name.