Gay Student Leaders at Catholic Colleges Form National “Equality” Organization
In honor of National Coming Out Day, student leaders of several lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) student groups based on Catholic college campuses –most of them Jesuit — announced the founding of a national organization called the Catholic Association of Students for Equality (CASE).
CASE, according to a public letter that appeared in the Washington Post’s On Faith site from a student leader at Georgetown University, is a national network with a central goal toward establishing “a pro-LGBT rights position grounded in Catholic values.”
CASE’s formation letter states this case plainly:
Almost five hundred years ago, Saint Ignatius of Loyola traveled to the heart of Catalonia, Spain, to deepen his relationship with God. There, at Manresa, he learned to accept all that God wanted to give him. He left Manresa with beliefs that often conflicted with established doctrine. He would answer criticism with “I saw it at Manresa,” understanding that his revelations were divine gifts of experience, whose uniqueness had to be celebrated. Today, we write as disciples of this tradition. We have an experience, a viewpoint given to us by our creator as LGBTQ Catholics, which needs to be shared. As LGBTQ Catholics, we have gone on our own journeys to find God, and, like Ignatius, God instead found us just as we are.
In the coming weeks, we will share and celebrate experiences from our campuses. We hope that after seeing the hurdles we have overcome, and the good that come about, you will understand us when we say “We saw it on campus.”
The group attempts on its Facebook site to assure this is not “a particularly political organization” and that the “equality” in their name only “refers to encouraging dialogue on LGBT issues, better representing LGBT perspectives in Catholic discourse, but not necessarily advocating a specific position.”
But the organization has already linked to pro-gay “marriage” organizations such as The Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD on their Facebook site under “likes.”
Thomas A. Lloyd, CASE founder, and a Georgetown University student who professes to be a “practicing Catholic,” boasts of working to make Georgetown University more gay friendly by having helped organize “Drag Balls” on campus and “later conversed about these spectacles with the priest who lived on my floor.”
He also credits other Catholic institutions like Loyola University Maryland, DePaul University and Loyola Marymount “that acknowledge the value in exploring the intersection of LGBT and Catholic identities.”
He wrote that it is CASE’s “duty” to “change the minds of those in the (C)hurch who would argue that LGBT groups have no place on Catholic campuses and to encourage those in schools affected by this position to ‘come out’ and to start forming their own LGBT network on campus.”
Students from student organizations at DePaul University, Georgetown University, Loyola University Chicago, Loyola University New Orleans, Loyola University Maryland, Loyola Marymount University, and Santa Clara University –all Jesuit except for DePaul — signed on as co-founders of the group.