By Jack Evans and Angela Hatcher, The Miami Student

Around 11 a.m. Friday morning, Miami University students erupted in counterprotest in response to the arrival of at least five anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic “street preachers.”

The protestors are affiliated with the organization Official Street Preachers (OSP), which is labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

OSP began their protest on academic quad behind the Armstrong Student Center until the Miami University Police Department (MUPD) moved them to the southeast corner of the intersection of Spring Street and Maple Street. This area is designated as a “free speech zone,” meaning the protestors did not need a permit.

They held signs that read, “Homo Sex Is A Sin,” “Muhammad is a liar, false prophet, child raping pervert! (See history for details)” and “Attention Hypocrites!!! Hellfire ahead. Repent or Perish.”

As their rhetoric intensified, a crowd of students began to form in counterprotest.

“You are a frankenstein,” one of the preachers screamed at Miami sophomore Alex Kowal, making barfing and gagging sounds. “Shame on you.”

“This is absolutely terrible,” said Kowal, who is openly gay. “I don’t think other people should go and hate on other people for who they are. I don’t know what else to say. It’s disgusting.”

The protest was ongoing as of 3:30 p.m. Friday.

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