The Exeter University Debate Society is forced to humiliate the U-turn after "dismissing" the Catholic writer against gay marriage – only to invite her again and call her "a mistake."
- Caroline Farrow was invited to oppose the “Sex work is real work” motion for debate.
- One of her opponents was Charlotte Rose, a multi-award-winning sex worker.
- Ms. Farrow then received a "rude" last minute email excluding her from the event
- Within a few hours she was asked back again in what she described as "ridiculous".
A leading university debating society attempting to "turn off" a conservative Catholic writer was forced into a humiliating rise by its own student union.
Journalist and activist Caroline Farrow had been invited by the University of Exeter to a freshmen week Zoom debate to oppose the “sex work is real work” motion.
One of her opponents was Charlotte Rose, who was billed as a “multiple award-winning sex worker” and who once organized “mass face-sitting” in front of parliament.
The day before the Friday night debate, Ms. Farrow, 46, a vocal opponent of gay marriage, was shocked to receive an email from society abruptly “dumping” her from the event.
Caroline Farrow had been invited by the University of Exeter to a fresh week Zoom debate to oppose the “sex work is real work” motion but was “not invited” prior to the event before being asked back for what the student union said was was a mistake & # 39;
One of her opponents was Charlotte Rose, who was billed as a “multiple award-winning sex worker” and who once organized “mass face-sitting” in front of parliament
A pictured Exeter University spokesman said the matter was one for the guild, but they were "reminded" of their obligation to protect freedom of expression within the law
Its chairman, Robert Jones, wrote: “We have been made aware of a number of articles concerning your widely cited anti-LGBT activism. This is in direct contradiction to the inclusive culture we want to promote. "
The mother of six, Ms. Farrow, who has attended several previous events in Exeter, said she was amazed at the "rudeness and narrow-mindedness" of the email.
She and the Union for Freedom of Expression, of which she is a member, complained to university authorities, suggesting that event management policies are "committed to protecting freedom of expression" and that society's own goals claimed exposure to freedom of speech encourage a variety of thoughts for members.
Within hours, she received a second email from Exeters Students' Guild describing the initial rejection as a "mistake" and inviting her again.
Ms. Farrow told The Mail on Sunday, "It really was all pretty ridiculous unless it was about serious free speech issues."
"I think what bothers me the most is when they say I'm an anti-LGBT person, but in fact a very strong streak of libertarianism runs through my veins." I do not support the criminalization of homosexuality and would work with anyone who is persecuted for their gender or sexuality. "
A past president of the society, Benjamin Jones, said many alumni were angry with the society's actions. “The University of Exeter Debating Society should be a bastion of free speech in these censored times, and I am sad that it failed to meet this challenge. Society should have shown a bit of backbone. "
The debate continued, but just before it was streamed, the company posted on their Facebook page: “We as a committee made the decision to host this event with Farrow. We apologize to all students and the LGBTQ + community if this leads to violations. & # 39;
A spokesman for the university said the matter was a matter of the guild, but they were "reminded" of their obligation to protect freedom of expression within the law.
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