Anti-Gay Candidate Elected to GRCC Board of Trustees

Richard Ryskamp

A few weeks ago, we wrote about Richard Ryskamp, an anti-gay “morality” candidate for Grand Rapids Community College’s (GRCC) Board of Trustees. Unfortunately, Ryskamp won the seat. He received the second highest number of votes in the election.

In an article from the Grand Rapids Press, Interim President Ann Mulder seemed concerned over Ryskamp’s election. She was quoted saying, “I have faith the top three will understand the significance of this college and will put aside any individual agenda to address the real issues of education and the viability of this college.” Over the past several years, Ryskamp has appeared at board meetings and consistently criticized the school for its policies.

We wrote a detailed piece about his politics, but it’s worth noting a further substantiation of his anti-gay views. Earlier this year, Ryskamp submitted a letter to the editor in the Grand Rapids Press weighing in on the controversy over WOOD TV 8’s decision not to air an anti-gay television special. Not surprisingly for Ryskamp–who has criticized gay speakers at GRCC–ranted against the “radical homosexual agenda” and “radical gay activists.”

We’ll keep an eye on Ryskamp and what he advocates. It’s unfortunate that a school that is known for taking serious steps to promote diversity and LGBT inclusion, now has such a man serving on the board.

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Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org

3 thoughts on “Anti-Gay Candidate Elected to GRCC Board of Trustees”

  1. This man in no way reflects a reasonable and open discourse that a decent education requires.

    His campaign has represented hostility towards the LGBT community and blatant disregard for inclusion and respect.

  2. It’s a sad day for GRCC electing this bigoted, Homophobic member to their board. What will be the course GRCC will take now on Diversity, and Inclusion?

  3. Here’s my radical homosexual “agenda”: (Be informed and remember: God created gays too. Being gay is genetic, not usually a choice, not usually some resistant, confrontative, antagonistic stance towards one’s family.) The Agenda: 1. Provide a safe and unbigoted home for myself and my family. This extends to the whole GR community.

    2. Inform the homophobic that: A. My love is just as honest and heartfelt as they think their’s is. B. My love is just as valid, loving and giving as that of any so-called straight. C. My private sexuality is not anyone else’s “issue”. D. The God of my understanding is not a punishing God of contention and exclusiveness, nor does He intend his followers on Earth to be. E. To inform bigots that I’ve never seen them refuse my money in a store, nor refuse to take taxes for my marginalized and criminalized second class citizenship. F. To inform bigots that if gay men and women are to accept second class citizenship as a condition of existence near them, to then see to it that property and other taxes reflect our status with them in kind.

    3. To work for a legal system which recognizes the validity of homosexual love and civil union, as hundreds of thousands of good citizens find they want to live their lives.

    4. To eliminate homophobia by education and correct information, as well as eliminating the continued unfair and untrue stereotyping of gay men and women.

    5. To provide a safe and wonderfully diverse society in which all can live in peace and harmony.

    The election of this board member to GRCC was a step in the wrong direction.

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