WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - At the nation's oldest Catholic university, a student organization is on trial for promoting Church doctrine on sexuality.
Georgetown University student group Love Saxa is battling accusations of "hate" — charges levied against it for its fidelity to Catholic teaching.
In response to a petition filed against it by gay university activists, Love Saxa faced a Student Activities Commission hearing Monday to answer charges it incites hatred and intolerance toward homosexuals.
If deemed a "hate group," Love Saxa would be stripped of funding and denied campus facilities for its events.
The group is a collection of faithful Catholics who affirm God's design for human sexuality by defining marriage as a "monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman."
Love Saxa holds firm against sexual decadence and decay, lamenting the contemporary status quo "where dating and courtship are largely forgotten, structures of marriage and family are eroding, traditional understandings of gender complementarity are distant concepts, the use of pornography is prevalent and sexual assault is rampant."
Members declare their purpose is to "promote healthy relationships on campus through cultivating a proper understanding of sex, gender, marriage and family among Georgetown students."
This perspective, they observe — this Catholic understanding — is desperately needed today:
Many Georgetown students lack a space to discuss their experiences of the harmful effects of a distorted view of human sexuality and the human person. Through programs consisting of discussions, lectures and campaigns, we hope to increase awareness of the benefits of sexual integrity, healthy dating relationships and the primacy of marriage and family as central pillars of society.
But in reinforcing Catholic doctrine on sexuality, Love Saxa has enraged student gay activists.
Chad Gasman, president of Georgetown University Pride, has denounced the group's authentically Catholic message.
"When they deny certain individuals who are queer access to this ideal standard of a relationship, they immediately say that all queer relationships are not as valid as heterosexual relationships," he complained.
Gasman blasted Love Saxa as "homophobic" because they "specifically call homosexuality and any non-heterosexual view a distorted view of human sexuality, "as does the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
The catechism states that "no ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman."
Likewise, it is unflinching in declaring that there are "absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family."
Gasman called on university officials to designate Love Saxa a "hate group," appealing to "Jesuit principles" as justification:
We're calling on the university to follow Jesuit principles and follow its own policies for student conduct and not allow hateful groups on campus that foster an unwelcome and hateful environment for queer students because, at the very least, if they can't stamp out homophobia and actually commit themselves to queer people, they can make sure they are not funding homophobia, which is what they're doing by funding Love Saxa.
But in a September 6 piece in the student newspaper The Hoya, Love Saxa President Amelia Irvine made very clear what Georgetown University is funding.
"Marriage," she wrote, "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 a commitment of love between two consenting adults."