A protest for gay rights

More than 75 SU students fight back against the anti-gay message of two local residents.

Dressed in a corduroy skirt, 27-year-old Syracuse resident Michelle Deferio stood near the Waverly Avenue entrance of the Schine Student Center holding a sign.


Chris Pesto, a gay Syracuse University junior majoring in acting, was walking back from class around 3:30 p.m. He saw Deferio's sign and decided to make one of his own.

"Everyone should have a place to be comfortable."
- SU sophomore Toby Marks

"CORDUROY SKIRTS ARE A SIN," his sign read.

More than 75 gay, lesbian and bisexual Syracuse University students and their straight allies rallied against Deferio and her father's anti-gay signs during an impromptu protest on campus today.  Holding signs saying "I'm bisexual and proud" and "'CUSE, NO PLACE 4 HATE," the students said they wanted to stand together for their rights.

"She was making me uncomfortable, so I decided to make her uncomfortable,"  said Pesto, who started the rally. "I pay $50,000 a year to be here, and I have the right feel comfortable on campus."

Deferio and her father, Jim, regularly visit Central New York  college campuses  to preach their message about homosexuality being a sin, she said.  She and her father target colleges because students are just starting to form their worldviews, she said.

Deferio said she was planning to leave around 3:30 p.m., but decided to stay longer -- until around 7 p.m. -- because of the student protest.

"We're coming to preach the gospel," Deferio said.  "I think it's ironic that people claiming to be so tolerant are so intolerant of other people's views.  People have said some vicious things to me."

SU senior Alec Sim said he stopped by the rally a few times during the day to support his gay and lesbian friends in between classes.

"I take that woman's sign with a grain of salt," Sim said.  "It's amazing that there are so many people here.  We didn't even plan this.  People are just laughing about it."

SU sophomore Toby Marks stopped by the rally around 5:30 p.m. after hearing about it from a few of her friends on campus.

"Everyone should have a place to be comfortable," she said.

Ahhhhh martyrs...

Just remember folks that all this feeds into the Deferio's martyr syndrome: a delusion that their being mocked and attacked for their prejudice somehow curries favour with their imaginary sky pixie.

These so called 'christians'

These so called 'christians' can't possibly believe that a gay person is going to turn around and worship the god that says they should be killed for how they were born. A god that thinks murder is just a simple sin, while being homosexual is an ABOMINATION!!!!!! (sounds more like an controlling italian mother than a god) Honestly, these 'christians' can't possibly be that stupid can they?

right to feel comfortable

Love the protest, but I disagree that Chris (or anyone) has the "right to feel comfortable", or that paying money earns you that right. He earned his comfort by taking on someone who was infringing on it. That's how you get your rights, by fighting for them.

so true!

yes Liam!

Great point Liam

Great point Liam

What does she think she's

What does she think she's accomplishing? Is some gay person going to all of a sudden say, "Oh thanks! I'll change now"? Ignorance.

It's amazing that someone so

It's amazing that someone so blatantly professing intolerance expects tolerance of her intolerance.

Post new comment

* Field must be completed for your comment to appear on The NewsHouse
The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.