Monday’s visit by Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who is likely to become the university’s next president, drew large protests from students at the University of Florida.
The primary cause for uproar with the appointment of Sasse is his perceived anti-LGBTQ+ platform. Specifically, Sasse’s documented opposition to marriage equality. He penned a disagreement to the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges.
“Today’s ruling is a disappointment to Nebraskans who understand that marriage brings a wife and husband together so their children can have a mom and dad. The Supreme Court once again overstepped its Constitutional role by acting as a super-legislature and imposing its own definition of marriage on the American people rather than allowing voters to decide in the states.”
Some students also took issue with the university’s process for choosing Sasse in the first place. Many questioned how he can be the only finalist.
In an interview on the subject, Sasse seems to imply to the Gainesville Sun that his stances as a United States Senator would not necessarily represent him as a university president.
“I’ve had political positions and policy positions that represent the views of Nebraskans. It’s a completely different job to have the job of president of UF,”
300-plus students took over the auditorium where a forum to introduce Sasse to students and faculty was being held. The protesters successfully disrupted the event enough to cause it to end about 15 minutes early.