Cleveland State University’s president later apologized for failing to “express personal outrage” over the anti-LGBT posters found on campus that he said were protected as free speech.

Cleveland State University is facing backlash after its president defended the posting of hateful posters found on campus that urged LGBT students to kill themselves.

Cleveland State University is facing backlash after its president defended the posting of hateful posters found on campus that urged LGBT students to kill themselves.

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The posters found in the main campus building appeared to be distributed by a group called Fascist Solutions. The image of a man hanging by a rope was accompanied by statistics on LGBT suicides and the message: "Follow your fellow faggots."

According to a 2014 study, suicide attempts among trans men was 46% and for trans women it was 42% compared to the 4.6% of the overall US population who reported a lifetime suicide attempt. Ten to 20% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults reported attempting suicide, the study said.

In response to the fliers, Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman said in a statement Monday that while the university respected all individuals, it would protect free speech and uphold the First Amendment "even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided."

In response to the fliers, Cleveland State president Ronald Berkman said in a statement Monday that while the university respected all individuals, it would protect free speech and uphold the First Amendment "even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided."

Provided to BuzzFeed News

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"Two posters were removed by CSU Facilities Services because proper posting procedure was not followed," William Dube, the university's spokesperson, told WOIO-TV. "Prior approval needs to be provided before posters are added to that billboard."

Dube did not respond to a BuzzFeed News request for comment.

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Twitter: @PresBerkman

"While I find the message of this poster reprehensible, the current legal framework regarding free speech makes it difficult to prevent these messages from being disseminated," Berkman said in a statement.

He called on students to join him in a open meeting on Wednesday to discuss the incident.

Berkman's office did not respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.


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