ELEANOR DURAND FOR THE HOYA Conservative commentator Ann Coulter received mixed reactions to her speech in Lohrfink Auditorium Thursday night.
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter received mixed reactions to her speech in Lohrfink Auditorium Thursday night.

Students who attended Ann Coulter’s speech Thursday evening in Lohrfink Auditorium came with a range of expectations.

Some, like Dan Galloway (COL ’13) attended the event because they find Coulter entertaining. Sam Greco (SFS ’15), a moderate conservative, came to hear her comments on economic policy. Anwesha Banerjee (COL ’13), who identifies as a Democrat, said she came because of the controversy surrounding Coulter’s reputation as an outspoken commentator.

“There’s been so much talk about the controversial things she says on campus, so I wanted to hear what she was going to say,” Banjeree said.

Regardless of the mixed views of the students in the audience, Coulter kept the entire auditorium laughing. Exchanging sharp criticism of the Obama administration and what she called the “mainstream media” and the “liberal mob” with one-liners, Coulter discussed her political and social views.

“The Democrat solution to problems created by the government is more government. That’s like trying to sober up by having another drink — except that’s fun,” she said.

While Coulter kept the audience amused — not all of Coulter’s comments were met with unanimous laughter. When Coulter joked that Democrats favor Ronald Reagan because he appears gay, many audience members gasped in shock.

Galloway, who identifies Elas Roman Catholic and bisexual, called the comment homophobic while addressing Coulter during the Q-and-A session following the speech. Coulter defiantly denied any accusations of homophobia made by Galloway or other students, who called her out on her comment that traditional marriage between a man and women is best for raising children. In response, Coulter repeatedly asserted that she has gay friends with children.

Coulter also added that she believed the Constitution does not defend against discrimination based on sexual preference.

“Gays are exactly the opposite of blacks in terms of discrimination,” Coulter said. “We want blacks protected but we don’t want them in our neighborhoods, but we want gays in our neighborhoods, but we don’t want them protected.”

Another student who identified himself as an Arab Muslim and a proud American asked Coulter if she considered him a patriot, given his religious beliefs. Coulter answered that she did, but added, “I’m not saying all Arabs are terrorists, but of course you have to keep your eyes open after 9/11,” she said.

After the event concluded, Galloway stated he was not personally insulted by Coulter’s controversial words.

“I knew this is how her speech was going to be,” he said.

Greco, who said that he agreed with her position on economics, left with mixed feelings.

“She’s too extreme,” he said. “I’m afraid people will view her as the face of my party.”

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