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Catholic university may sanction student group for promoting Catholic doctrine

Group promoting Catholic doctrine of marriage accused of ‘homophobia’

A student group at one of the nation’s most prestigious Catholic schools may face sanctions due to its promotion of the Catholic Church’s teachings on the sacrament of marriage.

“Love Saxa,” a student group at Georgetown University, stands accused of being a “hate group” due to its advocacy of marriage as an institution based in man-woman conjugal union, according to Catholic News Agency.

The controversy appears to have begun last month, when the school’s newspaper, The Hoya, published a column by Georgetown junior Amelia Irvine, the president of Love Saxa. Explaining the sexual ethics that the group promotes, which includes waiting for marriage to have sex, Irvine writes that “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.”

According to Catholic News Agency, “Leaders of gay pride student organizations at Georgetown denounced this language as ‘homophobic,’ and claimed it violated university standards.” In an editorial titled “Defund Intolerance,” The Hoya declared: “Love Saxa does not deserve the benefit of university recognition.” The editorial board wrote that Love Saxa advocates “denying individuals’ rights on the basis of their sexual orientation,” and that the Student Activities Commission “must vote to defund Love Saxa.”

From the Catholic News Agency report:

…Love Saxa, a student organization promoting Catholic doctrine regarding marriage, will undergo a Student Activities Commission hearing on Oct. 23, to defend itself against charges that the group fosters hatred and intolerance. The hearing is a response to a petition filed by a student-senator in the Georgetown University Student Association, and supported by leaders of gay pride student organizations at Georgetown.

Love Saxa intends to petition for a delay before the hearing takes place. The group told CNA they were only officially informed of the hearing’s date on the evening of Oct. 19, giving them an insufficient amount of time to prepare. The group also says they haven’t been given a copy of the petition, or an exact rendering of the charges against them.

Lova Saxa’s student-president Amelia Irvine told CNA, “I believe that Love Saxa has the right to exist, especially at a Catholic school. We exist to promote healthy, loving relationships at Georgetown…”

The university’s Student Organization Standards state that: “Groups will not be eligible for access to benefits if their purpose or activities … foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their race, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual preferences.” Love Saxa is accused of fostering hatred and intolerance, because of its support for Catholic teaching regarding marriage.

“We’re optimistic that the university will uphold our right to exist,” Irvine told Catholic News Agency, “given that we share the Catholic view on marriage”

Read the report here.

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