Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Marquette Recruits Students at “Gay Pride” Youth Event

We were a bit surprised to find Marquette on a list of the top “Gay-Friendly Universities” on the about.com web site.

While Marquette has recognized the Gay/Straight Alliance, and the University Ministry strongly promotes a “pro-gay” agenda, the University did refuse to recognize the Human Rights Campaign as a student organization.

It turns out that the basis for the “gay-friendly” classification was Marquette’s participation in something called the “Youth Pride College Fair” in Washington, DC on April 23rd. Sponsored by the DC Youth Pride Alliance, it is claimed to fill “a real gap for gay students looking for safe and supportive college experiences.”

Marquette has failed to confirm that an official representative was indeed at this event. Two calls to Melissa Marabella, the Admissions office east coast recruiter have gone unreturned. We reached a representative of the Admissions office early yesterday afternoon who promised to check this and get back to us. She has yet to do so.

We reached Nate DeCarolis, President of the Youth Pride Alliance (and organizer of the event) and he confirmed that Marquette did indeed register to be present, but did not know whether a representative showed up or not. He also could not confirm exactly who from Marquette registered. In principle, it might have been some informal alumni group in Washington, although the silence of the Admissions office strongly suggests that an actual official representative was there.

The event was lightly attended, and was rescheduled for June 4th. According to DeCarolis, Marquette has not signed up for the new date.

Of course Marquette, like any good Catholic university, can be “gay-friendly” up to a point. It can certainly protect gay students from harassment. It’s also the case that Catholic teaching has no quarrel with people whose orientation is homosexual, but who don’t engage in homosexual acts. But this observation is purely academic, since the “gay pride” crowd considers it terminally quaint that anybody should refrain from any sex act because of religious scruples.

What any Catholic university cannot do is support homosexual students in their homosexuality. Of course, the usual politically correct suspects at Marquette reject this. But the University claims, at least, to be faithful to Church teaching, even when it’s unfashionable.

Thus it’s odd to find Marquette apparently recruiting among a group defined by its hostility to Church teaching on sexuality and its demand that this teaching be rescinded or (at least) ignored. These were not young people confused about their sexuality, but rather a “gay pride” gathering.

What was Marquette thinking?

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