Earlier this year, physicist Lawrence Krauss was scheduled to debate Islam lecturer Hamza Andreas Tzortzis on the question of whether atheism or Islam made more sense. Just as the debate was about to begin, though, Krauss decided he wanted no part of it. He saw that women were being forced to sit in the back while men (and couples) were given seats up front:
When Krauss saw people being moved from their seats, he said he would not speak at an event that was segregated and walked out to cheers and boos from the audience. An organiser pursued him and said segregation would be abandoned.
Dana Sondergaard who attended the event, wrote on her Facebook page: “After having been told the event would NOT be gender segregated, we arrived and were told that women were to sit in the back of the auditorium, while men and couples could file into the front.
“After watching three people be kicked out of the auditorium for not following this seating plan, Dr Krauss bravely defended his beliefs of gender equality and informed event staff that he would not participate unless they removed the segregated seating.
“Needless to say, the staff got their shit together pretty quickly and the event (thankfully) continued.”
In this particular case, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (a sponsor of the event) denied the enforced segregation but was banned from participating in future events at the college.