Target: President of The Catholic University of America, John Garvey
Goal: Officially recognize The Catholic University of America’s LGBT student group
The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, D.C. recently rejected a request to officially recognize the school’s LGBT student group. School officials have stated that they cannot support the group because they fear it will condone and encourage homosexuality, which they see as being in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church. In the months since the request was submitted, supporters of the student group have addressed this issue directly, insisting that the group would only offer support to LGBT students.
Members of the LGBT group will continue working to make the group official, and they plan to have the student body vote on whether or not the group should be approved by the school. Even if a majority of the students support the group, which seems likely, the school has no obligation to take the students’ views into consideration. Supporters hope that by putting the issue to a vote, they will show the CUA administrators that most students at the school disagree with the decision to continue to discriminate against the LGBT population.
Many other Catholic universities have started making efforts to reduce discrimination against the gay community, and several now have official LGBT student groups. Notre Dame most recently approved a request for an official LGBT group. Although this is a sign that Notre Dame is beginning to reject intolerance and show respect for the gay members of the community, the school insists that the group teach gay students that they must remain celibate in order to avoid “sinful” behavior. By reversing its rejection of the LGBT student group, CUA has the opportunity to become as accepting as these other Catholic universities, and hopefully avoid Notre Dame’s mistake of requiring the group to include anti-gay teachings.
Members of the unofficial CUA LGBT group have spent several months working to get the group approved by the school and have expressed that the rejection of the group feels like the school has rejected its LGBT community. The school’s officials claim to be striving to make the school a better and safer place for gay students because Catholicism encourages respect for LGBT individuals, but the school’s administrators refuse to let go of the belief that homosexuality is a sin. CUA must reverse its rejection of the LGBT student group to show that it truly respects and accepts all of its students.
Call upon CUA President John Garvey to take appropriate action.
Dear Mr. Garvey,
CUA officials recently rejected a request made by the school’s LGBT alliance to become an officially recognized student group, citing fears that the group would endorse homosexuality instead of simply giving support to the school’s LGBT population.
While administrators have stated that the school’s LGBT community deserves respect, by rejecting this group, the school has effectively rejected its gay students. Once the issue is put to a vote, officials will realize that a majority of students disagree with the school’s discriminatory stance.
If it is truly the goal of the administration to make the school a safe and welcoming place for LGBT students, you must ensure that gay students are treated equally to straight students. Please see to it that the decision to reject the LGBT student group is reversed, and that the school’s gay students are treated as equal members of the community.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: ihar via Flickr.