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Hundreds of Notre Dame Students Stage Gay Rights Protest


Following the publication of an anti-gay cartoon advocating gay bashing that recently appeared in the independently published Notre Dame paper, hundreds of students marched through campus on Wednesday to deliver a letter to University President Father John Jenkins.

Read the letter, in part: “Father Jenkins, when the University refuses to acknowledge club status for alliance and refuses to add sexual orientation to the non-discrimination clause, we are reminded of our other-ness"

The students said their march was not a direct response to the cartoon but was certainly "spurred on" by it, WSBT reports.

Students were stopped at the doors to the Golden Dome, where they were to deliver their letter, and weren't allowed in. After a long period of waiting, an administrative assistant to the President finally came out and accepted it.

Watch a report, with interviews, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. I went to ND, and homophobia was prevalent and the norm in the mid-90s. This would have never happened when I was there. The VP of student affairs kicked the only "gay" club off of meeting on campus and would not do anything for a student known to have HIV but to ask them to leave. I could not come out of the closet safely when I was there for fear of getting my butt kicked. YET, the strange thing, I do cherish my times at that school and value the fine education I got there, lol! G

    Posted by: greg | Jan 28, 2010 9:19:49 AM

  2. Notre Dame follows in the proud tradition of Regent, Liberty, and Bob Jones Universities.

    Posted by: JONNY NYNY2FLFL | Jan 28, 2010 9:34:29 AM

  3. I applaud the brave students and faculty who participated in this event.

    It took courage and conviction in such a homophobic place where they will no doubt be on the receiving end of subtle, plausibly deniable payback from bigoted fellow students, and worse, a bigoted faculty and administration who have power over their futures.

    WSBT referred to this as a "huge demonstration."

    Perhaps by Notre-Dame standards.

    Recent official enrollment figures state the total student enrollment at 11,731 (8,363 undergrad and 3,368 grad and professional)

    These 11,731 students are supposed to be the best and the brightest, the leaders and scholars of tomorrow...the elite...the most intelligent, caring, and sophisticated.

    How sad that out of 11,731 only a few hundred chose to make a visible statement.

    Posted by: Nate | Jan 28, 2010 9:54:18 AM

  4. Good for them! Keep it up

    Posted by: KFLO | Jan 28, 2010 10:44:50 AM

  5. Well, it IS a Catholic university. So, what could anyone expect? Um, the picture looks more like "dozens of protesters" not "hundreds of protesters". I guess plurality is in the eye of the beholder. Nice try, though.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 28, 2010 10:50:32 AM

  6. I was schooled in Church schools so know exactly the kind of response students at ND would be receiving on campus.

    I recall one meeting with my school Principal when I was being considered for Head Prefect (in Australia this was :D) and was told it would be mine but that it was evident to everyone I was a homosexual.

    I've not been back to mass since.

    Posted by: Argo | Jan 28, 2010 10:56:21 AM

  7. It's interesting. The University's home page refers to "The Observer" as an award-winning publication, and it offers a link to the Observer's website.

    When the homophobic cartoon appeared, the University referred to The Observer as an independent, student-run newspaper.

    Of course, both statements are true. Hypocritical spin, though.

    Perhaps, one of the graduate degrees offered at Notre-Dame is for a M.H. -- Master of Hypocrisy degree.

    Posted by: Mickey | Jan 28, 2010 11:03:36 AM

  8. Shame on Notre-Dame.

    I just watched the WSBT report. This was a very orderly, respectful demonstration.

    The University literally shut its doors in its own students' faces.

    A faculty member who taught in the building pleaded with a security guard.

    The demonstrators stood peacefully and stoically in the cold waiting.

    Finally, the administration sent a lacky out to accept the letter - a lame attempt at image control.

    What has happened to honest discourse in academia?

    I used to have a high opinion of Notre-"Dame, but no longer.

    Posted by: Anthony | Jan 28, 2010 11:58:01 AM

  9. It is so funny how Catholic Universities handle this stuff differently. At Xavier University in Cincinnati the administration is much more receptive to the gay students on its campus. While it still has a long way to go they at least acknowledge the group, let them meet, and do programing. Strange how each Catholic University reacts differently.

    Posted by: Bobby | Jan 28, 2010 1:50:50 PM

  10. I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the news report.

    Not surprised, but disheartened at the university's response. Pathetic and unacademic.

    At the same time, I don't understand why people of good conscience even go to this school. At least the Catholic schools and Universities around here actually have non-discrimination clauses and put them into practice. (Nevertheless, we would never send our son to a Catholic school.)

    Posted by: David R. | Jan 28, 2010 2:40:58 PM

  11. "It's time to bring equality to gay, lesbian and bisexual students"

    But not transsexuals because they're freaks and they're icky and who cares about them anyway, right?

    Posted by: Stan | Jan 28, 2010 5:41:51 PM

  12. being gay, lesbian, or bisexual and being transsexual are completely different. as a gay man, i have no identification whatsoever with transsexuals, and i don't believe it's productive to lump that tiny, tiny segment of the population in with homosexuality just because they are both 'sexual minorities'.

    Posted by: flucht17 | Jan 28, 2010 9:04:23 PM

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