WASHINGTON - A Georgetown University student group opposed to same-sex marriage has been labeled by some on campus as a hate group. Now, the group's funding and official status are in jeopardy.
This all started with a simple letter to the editor of Georgetown University's student newspaper, The Hoya. Amelia Irvine, a 20-year-old student and president of the Catholic student group Love Saxa, wrote a piece titled "Confessions of a College Virgin." In the op-ed, she spoke about her decision with her boyfriend to abstain from sex before marriage and went on to discuss the views of her organization.
More than the flashy headline, her group's views got people talking. Love Saxa does not believe in same-sex marriage. Instead, they believe in what is called the conjugal view of marriage.
“It's not just about two consenting adults who love each other,” Irvine told FOX 5. “It's about a connection on every level – emotional, mental, spiritual, physical that is, sort of, it’s a special function in society, it’s a very special relationship that can produce a family and it's sort of directed towards caring for that family.”
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper, Toby Hung, said he received backlash for publishing the viewpoint, but he stands by his choice.
“There were people who thought that the message of Love Saxa was homophobic and intolerant, and they said that us providing Love Saxa with a platform would essentially be giving a platform for intolerance and hatred,” said Hung. “But in terms of my decision making process, I thought that it was necessary for us to express different viewpoints across campus and that students be made aware of what organizations are saying and what viewpoint students are having. I thought it was important for those viewpoints to be aired on a public platform.”
However, the editorial board of the newspaper took it a step further. They not only called Irvine's views intolerant, but also called for the Student Activities Commission to end Love Saxa’s university status and stop providing its annual $250 of funding. The editorial board was not available for comment, but say their piece published on Oct. 20 stands alone.
While Love Saxa is an apolitical organization, Irvine was especially surprised by the backlash at a Catholic institution like Georgetown University.
“All of our stances on all of these issues of sexuality are completely in line with the Catholic Church,” said Irvine. “So when students say your values are hateful or intolerant, they are essentially calling the Catholic Church itself hateful and intolerant. Given that these students decided to attend a Catholic and Jesuit university, it was very surprising to me.”
The Student Activities Commission will hear the case against Love Saxa on Monday night. Irvine said she plans to appeal the decision if they rule against her organization.
Georgetown University released a statement that did not appear to take a side in the matter and encouraged students to have open dialogue and mutual respect.