At the second event of True Love Week on Monday night, love was certainly in the air — especially for the group of Yalies who staged a “kiss in.”
As Bijan Aboutorabi ’13, a member of Undergraduates for a Better Yale College, introduced the night’s featured speaker, Providence College Prof. Anthony Esolen, he said he had “heard certain rumors concerning tonight’s event.” He made reference to students who allegedly stole signs from Occupy New Haven as a negative example of Yale students being unable to respect the ideas of others.
“I’m very interested to see if Yale students, without disruption, can tolerate someone with whom they disagree,” said Aboutorabi. He then proceeded to ask anyone interested in disrupting the talk to leave, but no one did.
Then, five minutes into Esolen’s speech on “The Person as a Gift,” about 50 attendees staged a “kiss in.” As Esolen delivered a line blaming the sexual revolution for cultural degradation, one attendee’s cell phone began playing the Diana Ross classic “I’m Coming Out.” At that point, around 12 couples, straight and gay alike, rose to their feet and began to kiss. Others looked on and cheered. After about a minute, attendees spilled out of the previously packed WLH 116, leaving about 20 in the room.
As they exited, the group chanted “one in four, maybe more.” Before the interruption, Esolen had been telling a story about a concert of violinist Natalie MacMaster and Irish step-dancing. As one girl left the room, she yelled, “homosexuals hate stepdancing!”
After waiting for the crowd to file out, Esolen repeatedly shook his head, then continued speaking.