The love story of a lesbian couple who are alumni of St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, has touched the hearts of almost 2,000 other alums of the Jesuit university in a Facebook Valentine’s Day contest.
The St. Joseph’s University Alumni Association is running a “How I Met My Hawkmate” Facebook contest in which alums who met while at the school’s campus (called “Hawk Hill” ) were invited to post the story of their romance with photos of themselves. The couple who received the most “likes” would become the winner.
When Megan Edwards and Katie McTurk submitted their story and photos, they were originally denied entry, and the reason was that “the alumni association claimed the decision was made because the Catholic Church doesn’t recognize same-sex relationships,” according to a news story on NBCPhiladelphia.com.
The couple used Facebook to publicize their exclusion, posting a statement “Attention All SJU Alulmni: All Alumni Are Not Considered Equal.” Almost immediately, the alumni association’s Facebook page started receiving notes of protest from other alums.
Late in the afternoon on February 2nd, the alumni association posted the couple’s story and picture, and within an hour at had over 600 “likes” on the contest’s Facebook page. At 10:30 a.m. on February 3rd, it had 1,844 “likes,” and that number continues to grow.
McTurk offered a comment on the situation that shows the power of the true Catholic spirit:
” ‘I never thought that many people would support us and really fight for this,’ said MacTurk. ‘I think it attests to the caliber of students that St. Joe’s produces that so many people would really stand up for what they believe is right no matter who the injustice has been committed against.’ “
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry