Saluki Rainbow Network challenges stereotypes with ‘homosexual acts’

By Gus Bode

Factoid:The Saluki Rainbow Network will hold a picnic Friday at 5 p.m. at Bucky’s Dome by Campus Lake as a part of the Saluki Rainbow Network Awareness Week. Food is free and the event is open to the public.

SIUC students were participating in homosexual acts Thursday afternoon by listening to music, talking to each other and doing their homework.

Leah Reinert, a junior from Decatur studying university studies, wore a shirt that read, “Warning homosexual acts are occurring, be aware.” She said she hoped other students would understand the message that the group was trying to portray.

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“We are like everybody else and we deserve the same kind of treatment everybody else gets – respect,” Reinert said.

In an effort to dispel the stereotype that homosexual activities are always sexual, members from the Saluki Rainbow Network participated in their annual event “Homosexual Acts” in the free forum area, which is a part of the Saluki Rainbow Network Awareness Week.

Reinert, a Saluki Rainbow Network member, said they chose the free forum area because of the heavy flow of students who walk by it. She said there had been “some brush offs,” but nobody said anything derogatory.

“Some people come up and ask what its about,” Reinert said. “When they see the warning signs they think, ‘oh what are they doing?’ And then they see we’re doing what everybody else does.”

Sabrina Moats, a senior from Chicago studying hospitality and tourism, said her Christian beliefs do not allow her to accept what the students were doing, but she added that homosexuals should not be discriminated against.

“I think that it’s not my point to judge them, but I believe in the Bible and that homosexuality is a sin,” Moats said. “You shouldn’t be doing it, but I believe they should share the same rights as everybody else. The only thing I really don’t believe in is [gay] marriage. I still have a burden for them and I’ll still always be praying for them.”

Jonathan Calero, a freshman from Naperville studying business, said he did not have a problem with the Saluki Rainbow Network display of pride.

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“Honestly, it doesn’t bother me one bit or offend me,” Calero said. “More power to them if they can do that. They’re showing that they don’t care what anyone else says and they’re not worried if other people judge them.”

Paulette Curkin, faculty advisor to the Saluki Rainbow Network, said seeing homosexuals in their “natural habitat” should peak the interest of other students.

“The intent is to show gay students are just like anyone else on campus,” Curkin said.

Nicky Jacobs can be reached at [email protected]

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