Dozens Of Notre Dame Graduates Walk Out During Mike Pence Commencement Speech

Dozens of graduating students walked out during Vice President Mike Pence’s commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame on Sunday, according to video reports posted on social networks. When Pence was called to the stage Saturday morning, over 50 of the new alumni walked out in protest. The students cited the Vice President’s history of anti-LGBTQ actions including the passage of Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) in 2015, which some say legalized discrimination against LGBTQ people and families.

A small crowd of protesters also gathered at the university’s main entrance.

We Stand For, a coalition of students at Notre Dame, Holy Cross and Saint Mary’s College, posted videos of the protest on Facebook and Twitter. The group says it stands up “for human dignity, respect and justice.”

GLAAD, a group representing those in the LGBTQ community, applauded the men and woman who protested.

“Graduates around the country deserve commencement speakers who inspire them to propel our diverse country forward, and these Notre Dame students bravely told the world that Vice President Pence’s anti-LGBTQ actions fly in the face of unity and inspiration,” said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD. “These Notre Dame graduates should be applauded for demonstrating true leadership and standing up for freedom and acceptance.”

Meanwhile, Notre Dame spokesman Paul Browne said school officials would only intervene if the protest “seriously disrupted” the commencement or put anyone’s safety at risk.

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