UC Santa Barbara students and community members held a rally on Sunday afternoon in front of University United Methodist Church to declare Isla Vista a safe zone.
“There’s no room for any discrimination against anybody,” said Reverend Frank Schaefer.
He said he organized this event after an outside congregation using his church recently invited a speaker who made homophobic comments. It also followed the discovery of chalk messages on UCSB’s campus that he felt were derogatory.
A rainbow flag was raised during the demonstration.
“We declare that this place is a place of welcome, of acceptance, of inclusion of all people,” the reverend said.
This hits close to home for Schaefer, who was defrocked from the church after performing a same-sex marriage for his son. He was later re-instated.