Saint Louis U Petition Demands Diversity Training, Queer Column

REUTERS/Edgard Garrido

David Krayden Ottawa Bureau Chief
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An emergency investigation at Saint Louis University (SLU) continues this week after a student objected to an opinion piece in the Catholic university’s student newspaper that questioned the blanket acceptance of same-sex marriage, The College Fix reports.

It asked “what makes zoophilia so wrong but same-sex marriage normal?”

The unsigned op-ed has prompted a student petition demanding that The University News immediately commence a “restorative justice process” that would entail staff resignations, diversity training and the promulgation of a “queer column.”

The newspaper will submit to the restorative justice, has already scheduled LGBT “Safe Zone” training and will see about finding a place for the queer column.

The offending editorial, entitled “Gender and Sexual Identification: Right and Wrong?” was removed days after it was published. It dared to ask why society continues to view sexual practices such as zoophilia, bestiality and pedophilia as taboo, yet has embraced same sex marriage as normal, despite it being viewed as anything but for thousands of years.

“Over the past few decades, Americans have grown more supportive of same-sex marriage, but in the same period, rights movements for other people with unusual attractions have not intensified,” it reads.

A student filed a bias report on Feb. 19, saying the editorial “contained messages that were incendiary, harmful and offensive to individuals on the basis of their sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, and racial identity.”

SLU’s Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Community Engagement is responsible for the inquisition.

The university isn’t saying when the inquiry will be finished.

The university didn’t respond to a request for comment on the status of investigation and when it might be completed.

The campus paper responded to the controversy after a university feminist group calling itself Free declared on its Facebook page that it objected to “the queerphobia, transphobia, or sub-mediocre analyses of race present in this article.”

The group also labelled the newspaper as “hate news.”

The U. News immediately apologized to “anyone who was hurt by the offensive nature of the piece” and printed a retraction that confessed to using “highly inappropriate” language and suggested the piece was not intended to “equate same-sex attraction with pedophilia or bestiality.”

If that recant wasn’t enough, the editorial board continued.

“But more importantly, our biggest and most egregious offense is the lack of inclusion of any LGBTQ+ individuals in this discussion.  We realize that a group of mostly privileged, white, straight and cisgender college kids are not the best people to lead such a conversation.”

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