Marching band trolls anti-LGBT university in the best possible way

Marching band members at Rice University take to the stadium field raising and waving Pride flags. (Screen capture via Twitter/@ricemob)

A marching band trolled an anti-LGBT university in the US with a vibrant Pride-flag filled halftime number complete with Village People’s ‘YMCA’ blasting in the background.

Baylor University, a private Christian college in Texas, has for eight years refused to recognise a student group for LGBT+ students.

Administrators say “homosexual acts” are not permitted on school premises.

So, when the Rice University Marching Owls Band paraded onto the grassy stadium field in Houston, waving around 70 LGBT+, non-binary, trans, bi- and pansexual Pride flags at a football game between the two schools, the crowd on both sides broke into thunderous cheers.

Students and alumni alike were involved in the display that followed a Star Wars-inspired arc that saw mascots battle it out before breaking into dance.

And, of course, participants forming the letters to ‘Pride’ on the pitch at the halftime’s end.

Band mates thought banning LGBT+ group is “ridiculous”

Originally, the marching band group planned for a dedicated Star Wars-themed halftime number. But after learning about Baylor LGBT+ student’s ongoing fight, they decided to take action.

“We just think that’s kind of ridiculous,” Chad Fisher, a spokesman for the band told the Houston Chronicle.

“And so we all got to our show writing meeting Sunday, and we were like: ‘Oh my gosh, this is like exactly what our show needs to be about.

‘We absolutely need to call Baylor out for this.’ From there, it just kind of happened.”

Fisher explained that the idea gained traction around campus, leading to 30 people flagging their interest and over 70 flags being donated.

The halftime show saw Rice’s mascot Sammy the Owl be a Jedi on the ‘light side’ that would battle a Baylor’s ‘dark side’ mascot and a representative of the university’s administration.

“[Baylor] university affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God”, says president 

A Baylor spokeswoman confirmed to the paper that on earlier this month, the college’s administration declined to officially recognise and charter Gamma Alpha Upsilon. Or ‘Gay’ in Greek letters.

The sole LGBT-student group on campus that has been fighting for recognition from school officials since its inception in 2011. By not being validated, the group are prevented from receiving certain college privileges, such as being able to advertise event on campus or even receive student government funding.

The school offers a ‘statement on Human Sexuality’ on its website that specified: “It is thus expected that Baylor students will not participate in advocacy groups which promote understandings of sexuality that are contrary to biblical teaching.”

While in a statement from Baylor University’s president, Linda Livingstone reassured activists “students are not disciplined or expelled from Baylor for same-sex attraction.”

She also pledged for “ongoing conversations” with faculty, students, staff and alumni and the LGBT+ community.

However, her statement also sought to affirm section’s of school policy state “the university affirms the biblical understanding of sexuality as a gift from God.

“Christian churches across the ages and around the world have affirmed purity in singleness and fidelity in marriage between a man and a woman as the biblical norm.”