Dustin Lance Black has been barred from appearing at a college discussion on sexuality because college officials felt he would be too divisive.

The Milk screenwriter was invited by students of Hope College, in Holland, Michigan, to join the roundtable discussion and host a screenwriting class.

Although he has been welcomed to the screenwriting class, college dean of students Richard Frost said that in the past, speakers with strong opinions on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans issues have caused problems among students.

He told the Holland Sentinel: “We had tried to do that in the late ’90s, with little success. Students and faculty on either side of the campus felt extremely hurt and marginalised.

“We are willing to do these things, but for the college to do this, we have to be sure it’s educational,” he said. “It’s back-and-forth and educational. It’s not advocacy.”

Black appeared unaware of the fuss, telling the newspaper: “I think the only controversy I knew of is I haven’t given them a date yet.”

Students, who are angry that they are being denied the chance to discuss LGBT issues openly, will now hold a screening of Milk along with a discussion including Black at a local cinema.