Marquette University especially hostile to gays

Considering Marquette is a Catholic University, my response almost borders on an obvious, “Duh!” but the study suggests that Marquette takes a perverse pride in being anti-gay.

“We’d like to at least have a safe campus,” said Margaret Steele, a graduate student in Marquette’s philosophy department and an LGBT ally. Steele said she’s familiar with Sanlo’s report and can attest to the hostile climate it documents.

Steele said she attended Marquette hoping to find a values-based educational environment that promotes the Jesuit tradition of social justice. But she said she’s been disappointed to find herself engulfed in a culture that seems to elevate “a couple of ambiguous statements about sexuality” over “the hundreds of scriptural injunctions about helping the poor, the sick and the disenfranchised.”

“For me, Marquette is not Catholic enough,” Steele said. “They use their Catholic identity as window dressing to attract a certain customer base. But they don’t show a true commitment to Christianity or Catholicism at is best. They talk up Catholicism when they want to defend something they’re doing to appease their conservative customers and donors.

The Catholic Church has proven time and again they use homophobic teachings to divert attention from their child rape problem. They are also guilty of trying to appeal to extremist conservative parishioners they haven’t lost to all their pedophilia scandals. Marquette seems to pride itself in taking a hard line, while other Jesuit Catholic Universities including Loyola University Chicago, Loyola Marymount, Georgetown University and Seattle University are moderating their policies.


—  David Taffet

Tyler Clementi’s Parents Will Sue Rutgers University Over Suicide

Tyler Clementi's parents Joseph and Jane have filed notice they plan on suing Rutgers University for failing to protect their son over "unlawful or otherwise improper acts perpetrated against." Tyler jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge in September after his dormmate broadcast an intimate encounter to the web. According to the notice, "It appears Rutgers University failed to act, failed to put in place and/or failed to implement, and enforce policies and practices that would have prevented or deterred such acts, and that Rutgers failed to act timely and appropriately." While no proposed dollar amount is listed, the Clementis cite their suffering, loss of companionship and support, and their financial costs. Should we assume a lawsuit against his two alleged perpetrators is en route?

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—  admin

George Washington University Adds Gender-Neutral Housing Option

Last week, George Washington University approved a student proposal to allow students to choose roommates they feel most comfortable with and get along with the best – regardless of gender. Gender-neutral housing, as it is commonly called, will be available to all students in all but the three female-only dorms on its campus starting next fall.

GWU joins around 50 other colleges and universities across the country with similar expanded housing options, but is somewhat unique in terms of the expansiveness of its new policy. For example, Princeton University’s pilot of the option began this fall, but was limited to upperclass undergraduates in apartment-style dorms. Similarly, Columbia University restricted its new policy to sophomore, junior and senior students. GWU should be commended for its leadership in ensuring all of its students are able to feel comfortable in their living situations.

As a GWU alumnus, I had the opportunity to discuss my personal experience with the review committee evaluating the proposal. Like many queer students, I finally came out to my friends and family while at college. It was definitely a process though, and while at school students should be focused on learning, not worried about potential harassment or feel forced to hide their sexuality or gender identity from their roommates.

Schools with gender-neutral housing policies typically report that the percentage of students who take advantage of them is low and these policies serve as a sign of the campus’ commitment to being welcoming and inclusive. These are the type of indicators high school seniors look to when trying to figure out which school is right for them. I’m proud that since my graduation, my alma mater has continued its efforts to support LGBT students by opening a resource center, adding gender identity to its non-discrimination policy, starting an LGBT studies minor and now offering gender-neutral housing.

Of course, none of these changes would have happened without the tireless advocacy by students, faculty and staff who recognized the importance of these changes. Check out HRC’s youth and campus outreach program to learn more about campus activism, whether you want to form an LGBT student group or trade tips with students at campuses across the county.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Watch: Belmont University Denies Firing Coach for Telling Students She’s Gay, as Students Protest


I posted about this briefly in the round-up the other day, but it deserves more attention.

HoweNashville's Belmont University President Dr. Bob Fisher today denied firing soccer coach Lisa Howe after she told students that she is a lesbian and her same-sex partner was pregnant. 

News Channel 5 reports:

Dr. Bob Fisher spoke at a news conference at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the campus' Student Life Center. Up until now, Fisher hadn't spoken a word publicly about the controversy.

Fisher said, first and foremost, he has done a poor job communication with the public since the controversy started last Wednesday. He did not take any questions from reporters, and said he would not specifically talk about Lisa Howe's departure since it was a personnel issue.


Mike Curb, the founder of Curb Records and the name behind the Curb Event Center where Lisa Howe worked, said on Tuesday he wanted to see Belmont act like Christians and rehire the soccer coach.

Curb released this statement on Wednesday:  "President Fisher has asked me as a member of the Board, now that I've made my statement completely, to hold off making any further statements to give him an opportunity to resolve these issues so that this type of injustice can never happen again."

Students have been protesting since Howe's departure and show no signs of stopping.

Just after the controversy erupted, Marty Dickens, chairman of Belmont's board of trustees defended the school's actions, saying, "We do adhere to our values as Christ-centered, and we don't want to make apologies for that."

There is now a Facebook group demanding Dickens' resignation

Watch News2Nashville's report on the firing and protests, AFTER THE JUMP

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Ohio State University Students Work for DADT Repeal

Every time I get the opportunity to work with university students, I feel renewed hope for our future.  Their passion for social change together with what might be called, ironically ,a blasé attitude towards LGBT people –an utter embrace and welcome of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities to the degree that it’s a total nonissue— is so refreshing.

They are also willing to take action when they see injustice, which is what the Ohio State University Democrats did at the conclusion of their recent meeting – making phone calls and writing letters to Senator Voinovich urging him to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  They also joined me at the Veterans’ Day rally at the Ohio Statehouse this week.

These talented, open, affirming and engaged students at OSU are our future, and I am feeling so good about that future. 

Please join the OSU students, the families of active duty service members, our veterans and the many fair-minded citizens of Ohio to take action in the coming weeks to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”  Please visit our Repeal DADT site and take action NOW.

Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Catholic University Dumps Gay Staffer Over Wedding Announcement

Laine Tadlock, the education program director at Benedictine University in Springfield, lost her job because she mentioned it in an announcement of her marriage to her partner Kae Helstrom in The State Journal-Register, that newspaper reports:

Tadlock Tadlock left the program Oct. 28. The university says Tadlock resigned. Tadlock says she didn’t.

The wedding announcement, which included Tadlock’s position at Benedictine, a Catholic-sponsored university, appeared in the newspaper July 11.

In a Sept. 30 letter to Tadlock’s attorney, Benedictine President William Carroll wrote, “… By publicizing the marriage ceremony in which she participated in Iowa she has significantly disregarded and flouted core religious beliefs which, as a Catholic institution, it is our mission to uphold.”


According to documents Tadlock furnished to the newspaper, the university offered her an early retirement deal Aug. 27 under which she would have been paid one year’s salary, two-thirds of her salary the second year and one-third the third year. The offer also included a confidentiality clause prohibiting Tadlock from talking publicly about what had happened, as well as a waiver prohibiting her from filing suit against Benedictine.

Tadlock and her attorney, Richard Frazier of Springfield, made a counter-offer. They were told there would be no negotiations, Tadlock said. She refused the university’s early retirement offer.

In a Sept. 7 e-mail and letter to Frazier, Wolf wrote that if Tadlock would not accept early retirement, then “most likely (the university) will decide to terminate your employment due to incompatibility with the University’s essential mission.” The e-mail was also sent to Carroll and Bromberg.

The University knew about the marriage, but forced Tadlock out over the mention of Benedictine in the announcement.

Towleroad News #gay

—  admin

Hate Crime Suspected at East Carolina University

BryanBergx180 (NC Jail) | Advocate.comOne woman remained hospitalized with a broken jaw after an attack Friday at East Carolina University that police suspect may have been motivated by the victims’ perceived sexual orientation. Daily News

—  John Wright

University Of Michigan Student President Talks About Attacks From Andrew Shirvell

Joe. My. God.

—  John Wright

Binghamton University Discovers Gay Student Group Ex-Director Is 37-Year-Old Man, Not an Undergrad

Phillip Calderon, a 37-year-old man, is not in fact a student at Binghamton University, which he's pretended to be for at least two and a half years. But he does live near by! You know, just in case you were wondering why Calderon was escorted off campus by police and charged with a Class A misdemeanor for falsifying his age on business documents. It does not, however, explain how a 37-year-old man mingled with other undergrads and managed to serve on the boards of Off Campus College Council, Off Campus College Transport, and Rainbow Pride Union, or how he earned ,941 for serving on the Student Association. At RPU, he served as director last year and director of conferences this year, where he helped secure the 2011 Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Conference. So that's kind of awkward. Also awkward: Nobody noticing the guy is 37. Not that 37-year-olds can't be undergrads. But, yeah.


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—  John Wright

Judge: Christian Counseling Student Jennifer Keeton Has No Grounds to Sue Augusta State University

Throwing out counseling student Jennifer Keeton's discrimination lawsuit against Augusta State University — which said Keeton cannot tells gay patients they are immoral, despite her Christian beliefs, and will expel her if she insists on it — federal Judge Randal Hall said the school's demand she attend a remediation program was perfectly reasonable and did not violate her constitutional rights.


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—  John Wright