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Meet the student group at a Catholic university persecuted for its support of traditional marriage

Love Saxa stands it ground 

It is rare to find students at modern American colleges that are fiercely committed to the traditional view of marriage as a lifelong institution involving one man and one woman.

One such group of students exists at Georgetown University–a Catholic institution. Yet it was recently subjected to a barrage of criticism and activist efforts that very nearly cost it its official status as a university organization, and it continues to be targeted by opponents.

This fall, Love Saxa, a student group committed to the Catholic Church’s teaching on marriage, was accused of being a “hate group” because it did not endorse the concept of homosexual marriage. The controversy led to a hearing before the Student Activities Commission, which debated whether or not to strip Love Saxa of official recognition from Georgetown.

Losing that recognition “would make it harder for us to book spaces for events and recruit members,” Amelia Irvine, the president of Love Saxa, told The College Fix in an exclusive interview. “It would also effectively tell our membership that our views are somehow hateful or intolerant of others, despite the fact that our views on marriage are the same as those of the Catholic Church.”

Those views, Irvine said, hold that “marriage is a conjugal union on every level between a man and a woman. The marriage relationship is special because only sexual union between one man and one woman can biologically create new life…We believe that sex is designed to occur within marriage because of sex’s three purposes: bonding between spouses, procreation, and pleasure.”

These beliefs are in line with those taught by the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which states: “The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life.”

Love Saxa’s position on marriage earned it the ire of the editorial board of the campus newspaper, The Hoya. The board published an editorial calling for the university student government to defund the group, claiming that Love Saxa is “antithetical to what a university club should be,” that it fosters “intolerance,” and that it “advocates dismantling rights for other students based on their sexual orientation.”

A petition from a student senator to the Student Activities Commission soon followed. The commission convened a meeting to determine whether or not the group would be stripped of its official status.

“My vice president, Hunter Estes, and I endured a hearing that lasted for three and a half hours,” Irvine said.

Deadlocked on whether or not to strip the group, the commission went into a special session before deciding, 8-4, that Love Saxa would face no sanctions or penalties.

“This was not our chosen path of reconciliation,” Irvine told The Hoya at the time. “We would rather have worked this out between students rather than have this dramatic political event where there had to be a winner and a loser.”

Though they dodged the bullet of being stripped of their official status, Irvine says that, in the ensuing weeks, Love Saxa has been targeted by its opponents.

“We had a general body meeting,” she told The Fix, “normally a quiet affair, that some of our haters attended. I’m not sure why they were there, but we suspect that it was to intimidate our membership.”

“The Georgetown ACLU has promised to protest all of our public events or provide ‘safe spaces’ during our public events,” Irvine added.

In spite of the accusations and the political ordeal, Irvine remains resolute about the mission of Love Saxa.

“Traditional marriage,” she told The Fix, “is a concept that has endured since the times of ancient Greece because it is an inherently loving concept: it protects women and children, grants stability to families, and provides the best setting for sex. Traditional marriage shows love to men, women, and children.”

“We view all people as equal in human dignity,” she said, “and our views of marriage affirm this.”

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About the Author
Coy Westbrook -- Texas A&M University