In case you haven’t been following me on Twitter today, the RIT Administration has chosen to bar the RIT Reporter’s Gender and Sexuality Issue from unlimited distribution at Saturday’s annual Imagine RIT festival resigning them to a room indoors and only to those who show ID confirming they are of majority age.
The University Administration’s basis for this censorship is that the magazine is “obscene” because it shows two drawings of genitalia taken from a medical textbook even though New York State’s obscenity law requires a work be taken as a whole when judged on the basis of obscenity. The University’s attorney Bobby Colón is worried about the University’s liability if a parent throws a shit fit at Imagine RIT.
To further complicate matters, the University is allowing the unlimited distribution of the issue on Monday even though the magazine doesn’t suddenly become not obscene or less available to minors once the weekend ends. So it stands to reason that the magazine either isn’t obscene, or that the University Administration is merely using obscenity as a convenient excuse.
A University Administrator I talked to reiterated President William Destler’s commitment to and support of the LGBT community even though the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle reports that Destler initially didn’t want the issue distributed at Imagine RIT at all.
RIT is at best being dishonest with its community, and at worst using a flimsy excuse to further marginalize sex-positive and transgender students.