Catholic Student Group Faces Sanction For Holding Catholic Ideals At Catholic University

Ian Miles Cheong | Contributor

Georgetown University, a Catholic institution, may be sanctioning a pro-Catholic student group for promoting Catholic ideals.

The mind-boggling decision to clamp down on the pro-Catholic student group Love Saxa is based on its members’ advocacy to define marriage as an institution between men and women—a view that Catholics have held for time immemorial. The group stands accused of being a “hate group” for its “homophobic” views.

According to a Catholic News Agency report last Friday, the controversy first began in September when The Hoya, Georgetown University’s school newspaper, published an op-ed by Amelia Irvine, the president of Love Saxa.

In her September 6 column, Irvine wrote: “Love Saxa’s definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as we believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level – emotional, spiritual, physical and mental – directed toward caring for biological children. To us, marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults.”

The article garnered widespread condemnation from LGBT and social justice groups on campus who denounced her language as “homophobic” and claimed it violated the university’s standards against discriminatory speech. Following the article’s publication, The Hoya published an editorial titled “Defund Intolerance,” in which the paper’s editorial board called on the university to sanction Love Saxa.

“Love Saxa does not deserve the benefit of university recognition,” they wrote, adding that the group advocates “denying individuals’ rights on the basis of their sexual orientation,” and urged the Student Activities Commission to vote on defunding the group.

At the school newspaper’s urging, the SAC will be putting Love Saxa on trial on October 23, where it will have to defend itself against charges of intolerance and hatred. The hearing is a response to a petition filed by a student-senator and supported by social justice organizations in Georgetown.

According to the Catholic News Agency, Love Saxa intends to petition for a delay before the petition takes place, as they were only informed of the hearing on October 19, which they claim provided them with no time to prepare a defense. The group also says that they were not given a copy of the petition, or the exact charges they must defend themselves against.

Speaking to the publication, Irvine said, “I believe that Love Saxa has the right to exist, especially at a Catholic school. We exist to promote healthy, loving relationships at Georgetown.”

Irvine remains optimistic that the Catholic university will support its right to exist, “given that we share the Catholic view on marriage.”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.

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