UMass’s Controversial Safer-Sex Brochure

It has had two student groups fighting for at least a week.

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A controversial safe-sex brochure—which depicts two illustrated men engaged in sex acts—has had two University of Massachusetts-Amherst student groups at odds with each other for at least a week, with the Daily Collegian chronicling the details. The fliers, titled "Safer Sex Can Be Fun!" and put up by the Radical Student Union, drew the ire of the Republican Club and later the school administration, which told the RSU to take them down. True to its anarchist roots, the RSU refused to remove all the fliers, calling it a "clear-cut free speech issue."

Not easily defeated, Republican Club members held a "Rally for Public Decency," which attracted both counterprotesters and ad hominem attacks directed toward the Republican Club president, who called the brochures pornographic. "These disturbing pictures of male genitalia represent sexual harassment," he said. "The Radical Student Union is hiding behind the promotion of safe sex to push forward its own agenda."

Most recently, the university took down the posters from the RSU's office window, and once again the group defied the ruling, reposting a lone brochure. "We have one flier up right now, and we're going to leave that one up," said an RSU member. "We're just going to continue doing what we're doing."