University of Wyoming Student Targeted by Church Elder in Student Union
A University of Wyoming student has been targeted by Laramie Faith Community Church elder Todd Schmidt, who put up a sign in the UW Student Union that stated: "God created male and female and [blank] is a male."
The subject of the sign asked that their name not be revealed in publications.
That's according to the University of Wyoming student newspaper, the UW Branding Iron, who wrote that on December 2, Schmidt created the sign as part of his table setup in the Union, which featured a variety of Christian-themed books and pamphlets.
Eventually, the UW Branding Iron wrote, Dean Ryan O'Neil asked Schmidt to take down the name of the student displayed, though she didn't ask him to take the entire sign down.
“It started when people saw the sign, particularly females," Schmidt told the UW Branding Iron. "They were agitated, quickly making phone calls to spread my message. Then a bigger crowd gathered. They wanted to block my sign so nobody could see it, with them accusing me of being unkind and not friendly."
Schmidt told the student newspaper that he thought the Dean asking him to take down part of the message, the student's name, was infringing on his rights of freedom of speech.
“I’m just trying to tell the truth and bring people to God," Schmidt posited. "That’s all there is. There are not any more genders than that. Biology teaches everybody about that.”
It was unknown why Schmidt targeted this particular student, what their relationship is, or even how they know each other.
Schmidt's son, Levi, was also present at the Student Union and said that he didn't know his dad was going to put up the sign, but that he "didn't see a problem" with it. Though, he noted, he didn't know if he'd include the name of the student.
The elder Schmidt said that he is simply spreading the word of God.
“People would rather believe a lie than see the truth," Schmidt said. "There is nothing more loving than being a Christian and preaching the gospel. I am trying to show people the love of God."
K2 Radio News reached out to the University of Wyoming Student Union, and was told this:
"The Union has no comment right now. If you have any other questions, go to Kim Chestnut, the Vice President of Student Affairs."
K2 Radio News has left voice messages for both Chestnut and Dean O'Neill to find out why the table with that message was allowed to be set up in the Union. We will update this story if either offer any comments.