The world-renowned European particle physics laboratory Cern, near Geneva, is under scrutiny for the abuse its LGBT scientists have been experiencing from their straight peers, in the form of hate-filled emails and anti-gay graffiti.
At least one researcher has been disciplined after being caught on security cameras vandalizing an LGBT-focused poster, but others are thought to be involved as well.
Members of the LGBT Cern group say the abuse has been ongoing for years, with posters advertising meetings and events routinely destroyed and defaced with words such as “schwein” (German for pig).
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Aidan Randle-Conde, a British physicist who founded the LGBT Cern group, said that “the continued defacing of our posters is an unacceptable campaign of hate and intolerance.”
“We do keep track of how many posters get taken down or defaced, and over a two-week period roughly one-third can be removed,” he continued. “I don’t know who is responsible, although it is probably the work of a few people. In some cases, there have been religious texts attached to the posters.”
As of this writing, LGBT Cern has yet to be recognized as an official group within the Cern network, even as the staff association recognizes and supports over 50 other clubs.
Randle-Conde was allegedly told upon first creating the club that policy did not allow for the “emergence of interest groups promoting particular communities.”