Catholic University Blocks LGBT Group, but Students Won’t Back Down

The Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C. and home to some 7,000 undergraduates and graduate students, formally rejected a proposal for a university-sanctioned LGBT student group earlier this month.

The reason?:

The official reason given by university administrators to supporters of the club -– which included 20 of the 23 members of the school’s Student Association and representatives from multiple other campus student groups –- for the rejection was that administrators fear such a group would become an advocacy organization.

Ryan Fecteau, speaker of the Student Association and a former director of the yet-unrecognized CUAllies group for LGBT and allied students, says the group had been trying to convince administrators for nine months that “the organization would not actively promote causes that might be in conflict with Catholic Church with regard to homosexuality.”

Ryan Fecteau


The school’s decision was especially galling to supporters in light of the fact that Catholic University previously had an officially recognized gay and lesbian student organization, from 1988 to 2002…

The decision comes at an interesting time since Catholic stances on homosexuality are changing ever-so-slightly. Consider, at the very least, what’s happening at fellow Catholic school Notre Dame:

Catholic University’s decision contrasts with its fellow Catholic institution, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, which announced in early December that the school planned to expand support for the campus LGBT community by, among other things, finally recognizing an official LGBT student organization. That Notre Dame request dates at least back to 1986.

What says Catholic University about all this? In response to inquiries from the Metro Weekly, associate vice president for public affairs Victor Nakas issued the following statement:

“In declining the request for official university recognition of CUAllies, the administrators indicated their belief that, in spite of the group’s stated intent to uphold Catholic Church teachings, it would be extremely difficult for that pledge to be honored over time,” Nakas wrote. “They pointed out that there is a fine line, easily crossed, between a group dedicated to education and support of individuals who identify themselves as homosexuals and one that engages in advocacy on behalf of a homosexual lifestyle.”

According to Fecteau, CUAllies will continue to host events and offer resources geared toward LGBT Catholics, and students may push for a school-wide referendum to have the group formally recognized. Keep on keepin’ on.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at

  • GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    Religion: Leading the world BACKWARDS.

    Catholic University is just making sure it does its part! ;-)

  • Ruth

    Reading between the lines, it looks like the proposed organization was willing to agree with Catholic teachings, inotherwords never act on your sexual feelings. What is the point of the group then, to try to live a life inconsistent with your nature? I understand the university’s position. I do not understand why any gay person would want to go to Catholic University. Or be a Catholic.

  • Brian Pansky

    yup, loving the sinner is too dangerous. so don’t love the sinner, and say you do. This is exactly how nonsense those bigoted posturings are.

  • coyotenose

    People aren’t very good at giving up on religion, compartmentalization is a powerful mental tool, family pressure is enormous, and lots of students can’t avoid going to a religious school or having to continue to declare themselves as Catholic or what-have-you.

  • Alan Bell

    Has anyone ever heard of a group that exists or ever has existed in the history of the world that “engages in advocacy on behalf of a homosexual lifestyle?”

    Are they really that terrified that this group will go round converting all the straights?

  • Veronica Abbass

    The name of the university is another example of Catholic arrogance: The Catholic University instead of A Catholic University.

  • coyotenose

    They really truly are. They honestly think -and they have said this- that people are easily seduced into being gay.

    The logical consequence of this opinion is that these theists think that they personally are two back-to-back Will And Grace episodes away from liking the “wrong” junk.

  • Thom Coyne

    The university can ban the group on the fear that they might go against some of the churches teachings only if they also ban all the other groups that have people that voilate or just might voilate any of the very many Catholic rules.

  • Chris

    It really is THE Catholic University of America, it’s a pontifical university overseen by the Vatican.

  • Ryan Fecteau

    Ruth, the group is not promoting anything that isn’t already expected of student at Catholic U… All students, unless married, are called to chastity by the University and the Church. College Democrats or Latin Club are called to this, but don’t provide members “educational materials” or hold meetings on such topics. CUAllies would follow this same model… You and many others, to no fault, tend to sexualize this discussion. This question is not about sexual activity of LGBT students or any student. We are seeking a group that promotes fellowship and an avenue towards practicing faith. Many of our members are Catholic but don’t know how or if they can practice. For students who have practiced for 17 or 18 years of their life, coming out and understanding one’s identity as LGBT can stress participation in something just as important: Faith. I don’t know why each LGBT student decided to attend CUA. I don’t know why I was born gay into a Catholic family. But something tells me, it is because I belong, LGBT people belong just as much as anyone else. If we keep pushing ourselves from faith out of fear of faith, we will always be void of something important to my life and many of my LGBT friends. Have a Merry Christmas!

  • Ian EPowell

    Lets rewrite the last line a bit. “They pointed out that there is a fine line, easily crossed, between a group dedicated to education and support of individuals who identify themselves as christians and one that engages in advocacy on behalf of a christian lifestyle.”

  • LoudGuitr

    To be gay and catholic sound like being Jewish and being a nazi. WTF??

  • Roedy Green

    Why would somene gay attend The Catholic University of America? It would be like attending the Bob Jones Bible College of Ignorance.

    It is Stockholm syndrome. Gays should LEAVE that evil institution.

  • amycas

    People always ask this question whenever we find out that there are students at religious institutions who are gay/atheist/whathaveyou. Really, the answer is simple though: they are not able to pay for their college education, their parents do, so they go to the approved college of their parents’ choosing. Most of the time, this is the case. You also can find students who didn’t know their orientation, or didn’t deconvert, until after they started at the religious institution.