Students at two of the nation’s top Catholic universities are gaining momentum in their campaigns to get their campuses’ gay-straight alliances recognized by their respective administrations. At Catholic University of America (CUA), Washington, DC, the students of CUAllies launched an online-video and petition drive for their cause. At the University of Notre Dame (UND), South Bend, Indiana, the 4 to 5 Movement has been amassing additional support from campus and non-campus groups for their campaign to get recognition.
The CUA video was posted at midnight this past morning on YouTube. In the style of the famous “It Gets Better” videos, students speak about the need for and importance of a gay-straight alliance on campus. The video is part of a new campaign that CUAllies has launched to collect signatures online for a petition to have their organization recognized by the school’s administration. All Catholics are encouraged to sign the petition, which can be found here.
You can watch the video here:
UND’s 4 to 5 Movement launched a similar video a few weeks back which has inspired various UND personnel to add their own video comments. You can view all the videos here. The popularity of these messages have inspired the student government at Jesuit-run Loyola University of Chicago to passed the “It Needs to Get Better” Act, in support of the UND effort. According to a recent article in The Observer, UND’s student newspaper:
“The act finds the Notre Dame administration would be ‘flouting the reigning moral culture of our day and our shared Catholic heritage’ if it were to not allow for such changes.
“Russell Gonzalez, senior senator and chair of the Constitutional Review Board at Loyola Chicago, said the group passed the act to show a school with a similar faith-based mission to Notre Dame has been able to successfully integrate a gay-straight alliance and an inclusive non-discrimination clause.
“ ‘We hope that the administration of [Notre Dame] takes notice that other Catholic universities have achieved a balance between faith and student experience such that no one needs to feel excluded,’ he said.
“A Jesuit Catholic university, Loyola Chicago has both an inclusive non-discrimination clause and an officially sanctioned LGBTQ student organization. Gonzalez said student government was inspired to pass their ‘It Needs to Get Better’ Act by Church teachings.
“ ‘[The] Church has stated very explicitly in many arenas that all instances of unjust discrimination against LGBTQ people should be removed and avoided,’ he said. ‘The exclusion from the official [Notre Dame] non-discrimination statement and from the constellation of student [organizations] is one such instance.’ ”
What makes both the CUA and UND groups so inspiring is not just that students are organizing for their rights, but that they are doing so from such a strong Catholic perspective. These students are showing their administrations that recognition of LGBT equality and justice are in the best traditions of the Catholic faith.
Bondings 2.0 has reported on both the CUA and UND efforts previously. You can access those posts by clicking on any of these links:
–Francis DeBernardo, New Ways Ministry