A swirl of protest over an anti-gay opinion column appears to be overtaking the University of Washington, reports the university's paper The Daily.

On Dec. 5, hundreds of students protested John Fay's anti-gay marriage rant, which ran in the paper on November 25.

Protesters found both the content of the article and the accompanying image of a man and a sheep objectionable. Several school groups have called for an apology from its editor-in-chief, Sarah Jeglum.

Fay's argument for why gay and lesbian couples should be banned from marrying is this: “Once you've legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union?”

“Last week, The Daily published a homophobic image and opinion article,” said Kathy Rice, who established Students for a Hate Free Daily as a response to Fay's column and helped organize the protest. “That article incited fear into many members of the LGBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] and allied community.”

“Let me be clear,” Rice said at the protest. “We do not promote censorship. Our group believes that the public should be informed of all sides of issues ... We want to use this as an opportunity for learning; as a catalyst for change. We cannot turn our backs on this.”

In the opinion piece, titled Gay marriage? Let's stop and think about this, Fay reasons being gay is an “emotional condition” and a “problem that needs to be dealt with, not denied.”

“Now, there are several major problems with legalizing gay marriage,” Fay writes. “Once you've legalized gay marriage, why not polygamy, incest, bestiality or any other form of union? If the only criteria is that people love each other, then who says it's wrong for a 70-year-old man to marry 10 underage girls?”

Fay calls gay marriage a reinterpretation of traditional marriage that violates the First Amendment.

Gay marriage would also have a dysfunctional effect on society as people become accustomed to violating certain social norms, Fay argues.

“If traditional marriage is overturned, it won't be the last tradition to be abolished by our government, and some of those will be ones none of us want to lose.”

On December 3, the university's Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) passed a resolution demanding that The Daily editorial board either apologize or resign.

Jeglum says she stands by the decision to run the piece and will not apologize.