LSU student says prayer rally protest about justice
BATON ROUGE - A group of students planning to protest an upcoming prayer rally organized by Governor Bobby Jindal said they will call for reflection and justice in Louisiana for those they see as targeted for discrimination by Jindal's supporters.
The protest is scheduled to take place Jan. 24 outside the Pete Maravich Center, where Jindal has scheduled a prayer rally called "The Response" and co-hosted by the American Family Association.
Organizer Peter Jenkins, an LSU grad student, said the AFA does not reflect the values of LSU or Louisiana because of its anti-LGBTQ stances.
"Unlike the AFA, we believe that embracing our differences, rather than repressing them, is the key to building the kind of state we want to live in," Jenkins said. He also said there would be panel discussions about justice in Louisiana, and opportunities to teach people how to organize similar community action through social media.
Critics of the event pointed to the AFA's past claims that LGBTQ people were to blame for Hurricane Katrina and the Holocaust. The Southern Poverty Law Center also classified the AFA as a hate group because of their anti-LGTBQ actions.
The Mississippi-based AFA responded to criticisms by saying the rally would be about prayer and asking for guidance for the nation. When asked about the AFA's controversial stances, Jindal sidestepped questions and maintained his support of the event.
Outgoing Texas Governor Rick Perry used a similar rally with the same name and co-hosted by the AFA to announce his intentions to run for president in 2011. Governor Jindal, who has taken several steps to raise his national profile with Republicans in the past year, is expected to use the rally to announce his own presidential intentions.