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Pepperdine University School of Law

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Georgetown Student Group Faces Loss Of University Funding For Promoting Catholic Church's Views On Marriage; Monday Hearing Will Decide If Group Is Guilty Of 'Fostering Hatred And Intolerance'

Love Saxa

Washington Post, Georgetown Students Have Filed a Discrimination Complaint Against a Campus Group Promoting Heterosexual Marriage:

A Catholic student group at Georgetown University that promotes the benefits of traditional marriage risks losing its funding and other university benefits after being accused of fostering hatred and intolerance.

Love Saxa advocates for marriage as “a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman,” the group states in its constitution. [Georgetown's motto is Hoya Saxa ("What Rocks").] That definition of marriage happens to be in line with that espoused by the Catholic Church, raising the question of how administrators at Georgetown, the United States’ oldest Catholic and Jesuit institution of higher learning, will handle the controversy if it eventually comes before them.

“I suppose the question for Georgetown is whether they think Catholic kids can still be Catholic there,” said Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America. ...

Two students lodged a complaint against Love Saxa, arguing that the group’s definition of marriage violates university standards governing sanctioned student groups and demanding that it be defunded and removed as an officially sanctioned student group. The complaint stops short of calling for the group to be banned. Student organizations, per university rules, are ineligible for funding and other benefits if they “foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their race, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference.”

The complaint, filed this month by Jasmin Ouseph, a junior from Fort Lauderdale, and Chad Gasman, a sophomore from Los Angeles, argues that Love Saxa’s definition of marriage excludes and dehumanizes individuals in the LGBTQ community.

A hearing is scheduled for Monday before the Student Activities Commission. While the decision on whether or not to sanction the group will be made by the student-run commission, Love Saxa can take the issue up to the university administration on appeal.

Los Angeles Times op-ed:  Are Georgetown Students Intolerant for Agreeing With the Pope?, by Michael McGough:

Can a student organization at a Catholic university get in trouble for adhering to the church’s teaching that sex outside marriage is a sin?

The answer to that might seem as obvious as the answer to the question “Is the pope Catholic?” In fact, a group at Georgetown University that sees marriage as “a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman” faces the loss of official status for violating university rules. ...

An editorial in the student newspaper, the Hoya, argued: “Saxa’s advocacy of denying individuals’ rights on the basis of their sexual orientations is inherently intolerant.” The editorial acknowledged that other groups on campus agreed with the traditional Catholic teaching about marriage, but noted that “actively and vigorously promoting this definition — one that is directly intolerant of the LGBTQ community — is not a primary focus of their missions, as it appears to be for Love Saxa.”

That seems a fairly dicey distinction: The Catholic understanding of marriage — one that even Pope Francis of “Who am I to judge?” fame adheres to — is permissible, but only so long as it isn’t actually preached?

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2017/10/georgetown-student-group-faces-loss-of-university-funding-for-promoting-catholic-churchs-views-on-ma.html

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Comments

I assumed the link was to a story published in the Onion, but appears not to be the case. I suppose a shouldn't be shocked that a student group at Jesuit University would loss funding and be branded a hate group for espousing Catholic doctrine but am more than surprised. I guess climate on campuses is far more intolerant than I imagined.

Posted by: Dan M. | Oct 29, 2017 2:08:59 PM

Seems like another case of the patients running the asylum.

Posted by: Tom N | Oct 29, 2017 7:34:53 PM

I only hate people who use the word "hate" a lot

Posted by: mike livingston | Oct 30, 2017 4:10:30 AM

The students filing the complaint are the ones who should be fined, since they are intolerant of other views and refuse to recognize heterosexual marriage as a legitimate belief system

Posted by: cowgirlk | Oct 30, 2017 4:32:00 AM

A campus group advocating students not to engage in sex outside traditional marriage should be welcomed and enthusiastically supported by the entire community. That such a group is branded “intolerant” shows how far off the rails of common sense our society has run. The important distinction between a “person” and that person’s “behavior” was made by the Lord Himself, who ate with thieves, prostitutes, and other sinners but also counseled them against engaging in the bad behavior. Individuals who call themselves Christian (including Catholic Christians) should well understand this distinction, such that advocating against particular behavior is never confused with being intolerant of others.

Posted by: Old Ruster | Oct 30, 2017 7:31:39 AM

I grew up in San Francisco where we were always taught to be tolerant. Then, somewhere along the line, those who we tolerated didn't tolerate us.
Sometimes acceptance is a sign of weakness. We must accept them, they don't have to accept us.

Posted by: Paul | Oct 30, 2017 10:04:17 AM

One should not assume GT is a Catholic University. They crossed the Tiber a long time ago.

Posted by: TheTurk | Oct 30, 2017 11:40:44 AM