Pittsburgh Students Hold Hunger Strike for Lesbian and Gay Rights

For the past 11 days, 22 University of Pittsburgh students have stopped eating in protest of their school’s refusal to extend medical benefits to the gay and lesbian partners of its employees.

At news conference held yesterday, the 22 students wore T-shirts that said “Hunger Strike for Human Rights” and explained that they will continue their protest until the Board of Trustees holds a meeting with them.

University spokesman Ken Service has stated that the striking students’ anger for the school is “misplaced” and should instead by directed toward the state legislature. The school is arguing that it has no authority to enforce a city ban on discrimination against lesbian and gay citizens given that the State of Pennsylvania does not include sexual orientation as a criteria for discrimination.

Senior creative writing major Robin Moll has lost 20 pounds during the hunger strike. Saying “I don’t feel that starvation is any worse than discrimination,” Moll downplayed the pain she is experiencing.


AP - April 23, 1999

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