Notre Dame Student Paper Prints Cartoon Advocating Gay Bashing

APOLOGY from NOTRE DAME independent paper THE OBSERVER

The editors of The Observer would like to publicly apologize for the publication of “The Mobile Party” in the Jan. 13 edition. The burden of responsibility ultimately lies on us for allowing it to go to print.

There is no excuse that can be given and nothing that can be said to reverse the damage that has already been done by this egregious error in judgment.

The Observer, though an independent newspaper, is representative of the community of the University of Notre Dame and the values it so cherishes: family, understanding, service, respect and love.

Allowing this cruel and hateful comic a place on our pages disgraced those values and severely hurt members of our Notre Dame family — our classmates, our friends. For this, we sincerely apologize.

Unfortunately, the language of hate is an everyday reality in our society. Earlier this week, surprising comments made by Sen. Harry Reid about President Barack Obama’s accent and skin color were made public and caused uproar. Now, at Notre Dame, a comic strip including hurtful language was printed in this publication, also causing — and rightly so — serious concern. It becomes clear that hurtful language is still present among some circles, and, too often, it’s not until comments like these become public that their true hatred is acknowledged.

The truth is, these comments should not be made at all, and we will not allow our pages to be a forum for such hatred. Publishing commentary that seems to encourage or support hate against fellow human beings is inexcusable.

We must, however more forward, and look to promote instead a culture of acceptance and support for all.

The Office of Student Affairs and the Gender Relations Center, as well as student groups like the Core Council for Gay and Lesbian Students, have worked tirelessly to foster an educated community and an environment of acceptance and love. We would ask that those currently working toward ending discourses of hate on campus continue to do so. We greatly thank you for your tireless effort.

On our part, we must practice more responsible journalism and editing. That this comic was published reveals holes in our editing practices, which are currently being addressed.

In reevaluating our policies, we hope to ensure The Observer will be able to recover from this low point in its almost 50-year history and once again be able to serve the Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s community with the dignity it deserves.

We would like to thank all of those who have called, e-mailed, written and visited our offices this week in outrage.

The content of “The Mobile Party” is in no way representative of the views and opinions of The Observer or the Editorial Board. We hope that as we work together to address this serious issue, we will be able to regain your trust.

We vow to continue to represent the University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College in a way that is respectful and accepting of each member of our community.

Link to apology here.


  1. says

    Not suprising to see that a well-respected Catholic university is staying true to their mantra of hatred and bigotry. I think they learn this in Christian 101. Though I understand that Christian 102 gets even better.

  2. shane says

    This from a university that barely eight months ago made the news for their protest against Obama’s speaking engagement on campus…does their Pope condone this, too
    Rachel Maddow, please interview tearful editor-in-chief!

  3. Mark (Marcito) says

    Well, guys, let’s give them a call, a letter, or maybe a fax. Shall we?

    General Phone: (574) 631-7471
    General Fax: (574) 631-6927

    Postal Address
    The Observer
    P.O. Box 779
    Notre Dame, IN 46556

    Editor-in-Chief: Jenn Metz
    (574) 631-4542

    Managing Editor: Bill Brink
    (574) 631-4541

  4. mike says

    “The Observer is staffed by students from both Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College, the women’s college located nearby. Unlike Scholastic and The Dome, The Observer is an independent publication and does not have a faculty advisor or any editorial oversight from the University. In 1987, when some students believed that The Observer began to show a conservative bias, a liberal newspaper, Common Sense was published. Likewise, in 2003, when other students believed that the paper showed a liberal bias, the conservative paper Irish Rover went into production. Neither paper is published as often as The Observer, however all three are distributed to all students.”

  5. patrick nyc says

    I have been to Notre Dame to visit my brothers kids who went to school there. I was very impressed at how my nephew and nieces and there friends were with me being gay. I think this is a small group of small minded douche bags, who drink the Fox Tea Party cool aide.

  6. Brian says

    See, the Christian’s knew this would happen when the Matthew Shepard act was passed. We’ve taken away their right to preach what the Bible teaches…

  7. crispy says

    My partner graduated from Notre Dame. His straight college roommate, who majored in divinity, officiated our commitment ceremony. They aren’t all evil.

    But yeh, this cartoon is pretty repulsive. Not to mention amateurish! That little fucker should be expelled.

  8. TCW says

    Better to express outrage to the university than to the people who published the cartoon. ND employee Frances Shaeffer (sp?) oversees the Observer; her number: 574 631 9159.

  9. candideinnc says

    Take the girl’s apology and accept it. This is a reflection on a group of nasty, adolescent fools, not a university or a religion. We do not need to resort to hyperbole to get the point across that this behavior must be stopped.

  10. Chitown Kev says

    @Landon Bryce

    I graduated from a Catholic university and worked on the newspaper for a time there (primarily doing theatre reviews) My student newspaper would have never published anything like this. Hell, they even had a gay and lesbian student group. And I wrote many papers with a gay and lesbian theme and there was no discrimination.

    Now the thing about Notre Dame is that it’s known for it’s athletics; athletics are very important. Testerone is probably every bit as much a fuel for this type of shit at Notre Dame as the teachings of the Catholic Church.

  11. says

    Who are the cartoonists? Is it the names right above the cartoon?
    Colin Hofman
    Jay Wade
    and Lauren Rosemeyer
    (or am I wrong?)

    Shouldn’t we also be directing our anger and shock at the cartoonist/s?

  12. arch says

    When thse children get out into the real world and try to get employment in reputable companies, organisations and professions they will very quickly discover how things are outside of their ivory tower.

  13. Landon Bryce says

    Bullshit, Kev.

    There is a direct connection between the Pope saying we are a threat to creation and this. There is a reason why so many gaybashers are Catholic. There is a reason why Catholic Maggie Gallagher has devoted her life to our destruction.

    The Catholic Church is a force for tremendous evil, most notably in its continued rape of children. Anyone who has chosen a Catholic education in this century should be regarded as a hateful bigot who thinks kids deserved to be raped.

  14. Todd says

    At least a couple of commenters pointed out that The Observer is an independent publication. I doubt that these students pay the publication costs out of their own pockets.

    Whoever funds this rag should also be taken to task!

  15. tcw says

    I was given Frances’s name by someone in Student Affairs at ND. Frances was identified as the person who “oversees the Observer”.

    I’m inclined to rely on the university’s own Student Affairs people, and in any case, if she’s the CoS to the President, all the more reason to seek condemnation from her.

  16. Chitown Kev says

    @Landon Bryce

    Slow your roll, dude.

    1) First of all, the Catholic University that I attended gave me an outstanding aid package…including a couple of scholarships. And I wqas in my 30’s when that happened.

    2) My university was 60% female. And sports there were nowhere near what you will find at Notre Dame.

    3) There were a lot of non-Catholics that attended my school and there were even interfaith organizations within the school (and there was a gay student alliance as well). Postings for gay protest marches are regularly posted on the school bulletin boards (and you have to get permission to post them).

    And, yes, some of the professors that I had were priests. And some of the TA’s were studying in the seminary. And I gayed up damn near EVERYTHING, including in my theology classes. (I majored in classics and was one course short of a English major.) At no time were my papers censored.

    I do not regret one bit the education that I received. And I worked for the student newspaper occasionally (doing theatre reviews, mostly) and at no time with the editors that I worked with would this have been acceptable.

    While I agree with you about the hierarchy of the Catholic Church generally and about ND specifically (there has always been an anti-gay element at Notre Dame) not all Catholic universities are like that.

  17. tcw says

    Incidentally, Andy, you should draw specific attention in your post to the three names associated with “The Mobile Party” cartoon. That way future employers who Google their names will have an accurate reflection of their character and judgment.

  18. dizzy spins says

    the worst part of this is that joke is over 20 years old! Me and my friends told it in high school in the 1980s, back when i was a scared-shitless closet case. And even then I never wouldve submitted it to be seen by the public.

    BTW, the non-homophobic answer is…”SQUASH a GRAPE”

  19. Landon Bryce says

    The authors have taken down their blog, which posts both versions of the strip and a revealing chat with an editor at the Observer.

    Still cached, of course:


    I see such a consistently belligerent attitude from even gay men who identify as Catholic (Andrew Sullicvan, even “cultural Catholic” Dan Savage) that I am offended by the suggestion that being Catholic, or going to Catholic school, is okay.

    It’s not. Not today.

    The Church is a criminal conspiracy that exists to promote its own wealth and power. It still prefers to pay pensions to pedophile priests over court-ordered payments to their victims.

    Anyone who identifies as Catholic is identifying with a Church that excommunicated the mother of a nine-tear-old girl because she agreed to the abortion that saved the girl’s life. And the Vatican confirmed that her “sin” was greater than that of the stepfather who raped the girl.

    That’s what Catholicism is, Dude.

    Anyone who pretends otherwise is allowing kids to get raped.

    As one of those kids, I’m telling you: they are evil, nasty people. If they weren’t, they’d have left that chruch by now.

  20. Todd says

    I sent a facebook message to Jenn Metz, the student editor-in-chief and got a very respectful message back from her. She directed me to the retraction and apology they published. She was mortified that this happened.

    Steps are being taken to adddress hate speech on the Notre Dame campus. I was struck by her maturity and quick response.

    Sounds like she’s got some difficult conversations coming up. But, in my mind, those conversations would be fairly easy and would go something like this: ‘Dude…you’re SO fired.’ Maybe the cartoonist(s) will face some academic punishment? Expulsion?

  21. John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's) says

    This would never happen in the UK.

    I can’t believe at a time when their is a trial going on using as evidence Will&Grace as reasons for people not discriminating against gay people and apparently this is what a lot of anti-gay marriage folk guys are acting all nicey wicey with this??!!


  22. crispy says

    Thank you, Landon, for your insightful words. Because of you, I now realize that my partner, who graduated from Notre Dame, is an evil vile child rapist with no redeeming qualities. As such, I have strangled him with a powder blue pillow and buried his remains beneath our crawlspace.

  23. Landon Bryce says

    Aw, thanks, Crispy.

    I’m assuming that your partner chose his school before 2002, which is the year that the extent of the abuse going on in Catholic schools and churches really became so factually established that its possible to hold people accountable for their continued association with the church. If he started there in the 1990s or before, even I would have let him live.

    But you give me too much credit– given the level of impotent rage you consistently express, you were bound to crack eventually.

  24. Chitown Kev says

    @Landon Bryce

    Uh, I’m not Catholic. Never was indoctrinated to be Catholic. I do confess to somewhat of an attraction to the “smells and bells” of it all but it goes no further than that.

    And besides, I went to a Jesuit university. Jesuits are notoriously known for being liberal and (in spite of their founder, Saint Ignatius Loyola) quite uppity.

    Additionally, when I went through drug and alcohol recovery, it was Catholic Charities that reached out to me. Again, I wasn’t indoctrinated. Wasn’t discriminated against. Hell, the program was run by queens.

    I am hardly naive about Catholicism (especially the “Roman” part of it all). Now do I condone this? No. In MY dealings with Church members have I ever been the receipient of homophobia? Actually, quite the contrary.

    Do I agree with you that the hierarchy of the Church itself is “a criminal conspiracy?’ Pretty much sounds like the mafia to me, quite frankly.

    So while all that you say about the institution is true, I have to also acknowledge that some of those funds went to a frightened 25 year old black alcoholic and crackhead.

    And that guy got off of the streets, received employment training, completed a college education, and is now a productive member of society. And I’m not Catholic at all and I despise this Pope.

  25. says


    I didn’t mean to accuse you of being Catholic. You are certainly right to stand up for your own good experience. But– and I could be wrong– I really don’t think you would have chosen that school today, and I don’t think you would have had a similar experience if you had. The liberal Catholics have been dispirited by the abuse scandals, the reactions to them, the election of the Nazi Pope, and the continual rightward movement of the Church since JP2’s health starting waning and Joey the Rat started calling the shots. The liberal Catholics have shut up, drunk themselves to death, or left the church.

    There really was a time when it was okay to be Catholic. Just as there was a time when benign racism did not mean that a person was necessarily bad in themselves. Times have changed. Someone who expresses racism in the United States today is choosing it, not just a victim of socialization.

    Someone who chooses to attend a Catholic university today is making a bad choice, one that marks him or her as either cruelly bigoted and hopelessly naive.

    No one who was neither of those things would choose Catholic school now.

  26. Dean says

    I was offended. I thought it was a juvenile joke in extremely poor taste. I think they get that.

    There’s not just one apology on The Observer website, there are two. One is from the editorial staff and the other is from the actual creators of the cartoon.

    It seems they were attempting a little Stephen Colbert humor (act like the idiots to show what an idiotic view it is) and it backfired.

    Who knows but I’m going to go ahead and accept the apologies given and hope they’ve all learned something. It’s called the high road. I promise, someday it’ll pay off.

  27. says

    I don’t fault the cartoonist so much as the paper for allowing it to be printed. Whoever gave it their okay, either passively or directly, ought to be fired.

    Though the cartoonist obviously has some serious issues too.

    And as much as I’d love to get into the debate on Catholicism, I’ll take a pass on that.

  28. brutus says

    no entity has damaged and retarded the progress of society like the catholic church. any time i meet a person who is catholic — gay or straight — i always find a good amount of guilt and self-loathing has been driven into them.

  29. Ian says

    Comparing Harry Reid’s words to this cartoon is RIDICULOUS and intellectually dishonest.

    Reid had no intent to hurt or humiliate or demean anyone.

    The cartoonist, whose name is not printed, supports violence against a group.


  30. says

    ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WITH THIS APOLOGY??? I can’t believe the written apology dares to say that Harry Reid’s clumsy comments regarding race in the context of supporting Barack Obama for president is “hate” speech similar to this cartoon!

  31. DirectProf says

    I’m an openly gay professor at a private university in Ohio, and I’ve taught two former Notre Dame grads in graduate studies here. Both of them were former football players, and both of them have been wonderful young men who have grown to be friends of mine. They would never find this sort of thing funny, so I can’t bring myself to bash all ND guys. However, the cartoonists and editors of this paper should be pilloried.

  32. Dean says

    Okay, I finally get how this cartoon is NOT offensive (or how it was supposed to be pro-gay and not anti-gay).

    The character telling the joke in the strip is a saw… get it? He’s a TOOL!

    Don’t get me wrong, a good editor would have questioned whether or not the real joke would be missed (which it was by a long shot).

    But I now totally except their apology for it.

  33. Chitown Kev says

    I’m with y’all, the apology is more insulting than the actual cartoon.

    Notre Dame is a conservative institution like that, I can’t honestly say that I’m surprised.

    @Landon Bryce

    Who knows? Given my circumstances in 2003 (I was in my mid-30’s) it was by far the best offer. It also allowed me to continue working for that semester. And I was also able to take a year off from the workforce and pursue my studies. The schools financial support was a big part of that.

    It was a money thing.

    Landon, as I stated, I went to a Jesuit university and Jesuit schools are notoriously liberal (and urban as well). Hell, I had openly gay teachers. And that was four years ago.

    Notre Dame is not Jesuit.

    Back to that “apology” though, that’s just full of shit. That also tells me that we won’t be hearing an apology from Notre Dame’s Administration.

    (As a Michigan native who absolutely bleeds Maize and Blue, I will never pass on the opportunity to bash Notre Dame, by the way.)

  34. J Martin says

    So according to their “apology”, this cartoon is equivalent to Harry Reid’s comments about the electability of candidate Obama?

    I think that argument shows that they still don’t even comprehend how awful this cartoon is.

  35. says

    I think that’s one of the most bullshit apologies I’ve ever read… They immediately try to change the subject after they say they’re sorry. I hope their sorry asses get kicked off the paper and expelled from the university.

  36. crispy says

    He did in fact graduate before 2002. But let’s be honest, Catholic priests were raping kids long before the scandal made international headlines.

    And my hubby no longer belongs to the Church. There was a big ol’ family drama when his brother asked him to be the godfather to his child, but the local parish (or whatever the fuck they’re called) wouldn’t sponsor him because we are heathens and most definitely on our way to hell.

    Anywho, I think your blanket condemnation of anyone who went to Notre Dame is a bit shortsighted. There are good Catholics. Well, good ex-Catholics. I don’t associate with Catholics.

  37. Patric says

    I agree with Tanner and Matthew Rettenmund. They couldn’t help themselves from using this “apology” as a platform to take a swipe at Senator Reid and suggest that their endorsement of violence and brutality was somehow comparable to the Senator’s terribly clumsy and ill-advised, but accurate, acknowledgment that factors such as skin color and the way one speaks still matter in U.S. electoral politics.

  38. HawaiiBill says

    The cartoon was vile. The University issued a STRONG and sincere apology. The outrage was apparent, and from the statement, it was heard AND they agreed. What more can you ask for? Painting ALL Catholics with one brush it just as dumb as what the intolerant bigots do to us. Those of you that have done a knee-jerk Christian/Catholic bashing on here should think before you hate.

  39. walter says

    what’s the problem benny will probably make the catoonist a cardinal at least if not even a saint for protecting humanity. it is about time this organization starts feeling the pain for all its hate speech tax them out of existence they a throw back to the dark ages through out history they have worked to keep the people poor and ignorant

  40. Glenn says

    It’s certainly possible that (as the authors seems to suggest), a consistent reader of the strip would have understood that having the vile joke come from the “tool” was intended as disapproval. Imagine, for example, if you heard one of Archie Bunker’s quotes without understanding the context of the series and his character’s role in it. I have to leave that question for those who actually have read this strip consistently.

    Having said that… the editors should have instantly seen how this would have looked to the casual reader, so they are really idiots. Moreover, their swipe at Harry Reid in the “apology” suggests strongly that they are conservatives — which leads one to believe that they actually agreed with the content of the strip. At the very least, they have dug themselves an even bigger hole with this apology.

  41. Boone68 says

    This incident is perfect evidence for the current federal trial to overturn prop 8 and I hope Ted Olson uses it. The defense has been arguing that gays are no longer discriminated against. I hope that the authors of this comic are disciplined appropriately. Academic probation and some sensitivity classes along with some community work with homeless gay and lesbian teenagers would be a good start.

  42. Landon Bryce says

    Hawaii Bill:

    Being gay is not a choice.

    Being Catholic, once one is old enough to choose a college, is a choice.

    Please stop comparing anti-gay bigotry with accurate descriptions of bigots.

    What I have written about Catholics is completely accurate, is it not?

    The days when religious people can make others shut up by huffing and puffing are over.

    Your imaginary friend hates me, and that makes me hate you. That’s not bigotry– that’s a reasoned response to your behavior.

  43. timinhouston says

    good grief.
    hard to gather the thoughts behind their publishing of this insult!
    wonder if they would have published a slam against specific ethnic groups…..
    wonder how that would be received?
    wonder if they would do the same to religous groups other than their own…

  44. Ted says

    Gay people are murdered everyday around the world simply for being who ther are. How does a cartoon making light of this appaling fact in anyway equate with the “inartful” (President Obama’s actual description) comments by Senator Reid.

  45. Jeremy says

    By the way, the guy should be fired from the newspaper for plagiarism: the joke isn’t even his! The original, AIDS-related joke appears (as a VERY bitter aside) in the play “As Is” by openly gay playwright William Hoffman. “As Is” opened in 1985 and ran for over 300 performances. This guy is a homophobe AND a thief.

  46. Patrick says

    I know the cartoonists, and one of them is my best friend. They are not homophobic in any way, obviously the meaning of this was misinterpreted. These are the kids on the Notre Dame campus that are actually accepting of the gay population there.

  47. Landon Bryce says


    You are lying.

    The chat your friend had with the editor after his initial hilarious joke making fun of people killed by AIDS was rejected was posted online.

    In it, your friend announces that his intent is to make fun of gay people– not homophobia.

    I bet you and your friend make gay jokes all the time, and I bet you don’t think that makes you a bigoted asshole.

  48. Walter says

    Landon — tend to agree — people stay Catholic and other religions that are anti-gay because the belief ELEVATES them and makes them special and superior to others.

    If you had an moral fiber you leave.
    Those who stay behind are twisted and evil.
    Maybe someday they will change — but given that my own family still funds the Catholic Church and expects me to be friendly to them (I am not) …. their Straight Supremacist beliefs are so far ingrained they REALLY just believe they are better than gay people — and are happy to tolerate us — as that makes them feel even more Superior.

    Disgusting but true.

  49. Mark (Marcito) says

    Landon said…”The days when religious people can make others shut up by huffing and puffing are over.”

    Amen to that, brother. That ship(S.S. Christian Bigotry) has long sailed.

  50. Jay says

    Landon, you’re still being a bit short-sighted. How old are most people when they decide which college to attend? 17 or 18. At that age, financial aid packages and the influence (and pressuring) of parents plays a huge role in one’s choice of college. You’re being unfair when you denounce anyone and everyone who decides to attend Notre Dame.

    And, for the record, I’m anti-Catholic, against almost all most forms of Christianity, and pretty much sneer at organized religion altogether. Yet I still know better than to incriminate the entire student body at Notre Dame.

  51. TJ says

    I “get” that the “tool” is telling the joke. But some jokes simply ought not be told! SERIOUS lack of judgment on the part of all involved. The “we were poking fun at tools” defense is particularly lame, give the exchange that went down between the creator of the strip and the Observer, which was captured by the author (a ND professor) of a great guest column also published today. The link is below:

  52. TANK says

    Notre Dame isn’t what it appears to those defending it. Virulently antigay teachers teach there. St. Alvin is one of them. There is, of course, a direct link between the dehumanization of lgbt people advocated by the pope is his hate rhetoric and how a catholic university conducts this clearly shows.

  53. says

    @John from England:

    “This would never happen in the UK.”

    What the hell are you smoking?!? Your most popular sport institutionalizes homophobia above all other top-tier footballing nations save Italy. BBC reports in Oct 2009 that homophobic crimes in London are UP by over twenty percent (20%).

    Gangs of kids roam your streets randomly assaulting homosexuals.

    And you have the balls to say a CARTOON advocating violence against homosexuals would never happen in the UK?

    Either you think your laws granting free speech/press restrict thought as well (you can’t charge someone with hate propaganda ’til it prints, after all), or you really think you’re that much more tolerant than everybody else. And the above notes I made show it just isn’t so.

    Get off your high horse, open your eyes, and fix your problems before sitting on some make-believe ivory tower telling the rest of the world how enlightened you ignorantly think you are.

  54. says

    this really isn’t an issue of religion. it’s an issue of a poorly conceived editorial comic that gives voice to and seems to endorse anti-gay violence.

    if they really did intend to satirize the joke they failed big time. if not, then they should stop lying and making excuses. either way, they don’t seem particularly sorry, but annoyed that none of us GET that they supposedly meant to comment on the joke rather than make it.

    i emailed Jay Wade on Facebook and in his response he addresses me by a feminine version of my name, which i suspect is meant to be an anti-gay dig at me. go figure.

  55. Fenrox says

    Heh, That’s pretty offensive and pretty good. Good thing they issues that apology, offensive jokes like that no matter how funny (or unfunny) don’t ever belong to public consumption, like ever.

  56. Chris says

    What’s funny is that one of the three kids credited with that cartoon is a fan of the “Center for Civil & Human Rights, Notre Dame Law School” on Facebook…

  57. says

    Googlebomb these guys names. Make sure any future employers who does a casual search on him will find his sentiments returned as a top result.

    Do this by commenting his name in your post. Do this by mentioning his name and school in your own blogs (Facebook doesn’t count) and link to other blog entries mentioning same.

  58. bobbyjoe says

    Not only is that strip passing off an old, lazy, and hateful joke as humor, the art in that cartoon is a crime against humanity in and of itself. Seriously, wasn’t cartoon art that bad banned at Nuremberg or by the Geneva Convention?

    And it took THREE people to create this?

    Take away their pens! Lock them in a room and put ’em in some kind of “Clockwork Orange” contraption that forces their eyes open while they have to read nothing but old “Cathy” and “Marmaduke” cartoons for hours on end until they’re driven irreparably insane!

    For the love of God, someone stop these people before they cartoon again!

  59. Fenrox says

    Hey guys, it was a bad joke, they didn’t beat anyone up, DO NOT try to get inter-revenge against them. Don’t go below their level, and GROW THE FUCK UP and accept their apology!

  60. DN says

    What a BS apologoy.

    Evaluating the electability of a candidate in light of 21st Century American racial attitudes is *exactly* the same as joking about debilitating violence toward a minority.

    Remove the attempt to establish some sort of moral equivalence between Harry Reid’s gaffe and joking about beating a queer to death and you’ve got a decent apology.

  61. David Pais says

    As a gay advocate who has spent the last 35 years working for LGBT civil rights; as an AIDS activist who has been in the fight for 28 years; as a graduate of this terrific University where I learned that ALL people are created in GOD’s image and that the chief commandmant is to love one another; as a alumnus who has helped organize the Gay and Lesbian Alumni Association of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s—the largest gay alumni/ae group of any Catholic university or college, and as a practicing Catholic who believes in working for change wherever one is and as someone who spent the morning raising money for Haitian Relief—I am sad, hurt, pained and here to let you know this is NOT indicative of Notre Dame, its student body, its alumni, or the people in the pews who practice their faith of care and concern for others on a daily, hourly basis—(Note Catholic support of same-sex marriage is higher than any other religious group.)

    Since I have been engaged in the battle against the AIDS pandemic since July 3, 1981 and lost over 200 people to the epidemic, I have some understanding of the cost—When the epidemic surfaced there were two responses—run away and deny, or run toward and try to help–The only reason I have for conquering my fears is my faith, nurtured at Notre Dame, asked it of me.

    Those quick to condemn gay people of faith—try living in the foxhole for 28 years before you so quickly judge.

    And for the Notre Dame Family—I know you are better than this—Let this be a teaching moment that can transcend this event and lead to lasting understanding and growth of charcter.

    David Pais

  62. TANK says

    a foxhole? Are you justfying your faith with the aids epidemic of the eighties and nineties? That’s a breathtaking nonsequitur and example self absorption and importance. It’s also ironic as most would conclude that aids is evil, as it causes a lot of suffering (and the christian god renders that suffering unnecessary). Perhaps your god was just testing your faith…and those who died horrendously. (…that’s a pretty dark joke coming from a christian like you if that’s your belief. You may not laugh at it, but I can laugh at you). In which case, god is quite evil, wouldn’t you agree? Yes, a god that allows suffering of that nature (natural evil) that he could prevent easily is evil just like a person who could easily prevent a small child from being raped and beaten to death but chooses not to for whatever reason…is evil. And if god is evil, god is neither a worthy entity of worship, nor existent…as god in christianity is defined as perfectly good.

    However, if it is a metaphor for something other than the hiv/aids epidemic that took a generation of gay men…don’t ever forget that you chose to sit in it for 28 years.

    I have very little respect for gays and lesbians of faith on both logical and empirical grounds, and on the grounds that faith is an enemy of gay equality, and you are merely abetting the enemy.

  63. Landon Bryce says

    Dear David,

    Shame on you for continuing to be part of an organization that rapes children. Your Vatican is still sheltering pedophiles, still refusing to cooperate with investigations into child abuse.

    Your Pope is still trying to downpklay the Holocaust– rehabilitating Holocaust deniers, claiming that the German people in general should not be blamed for the murders they committed, putting that other Nazi Pope on the fast track to sainthood before the archive on his papacy is opened to the public.

    Good people don’t allow themselves to be part of the church that allowed Australia’s Christian Brothers to have contests to see which Brother could rape one boy a hundred times first.

    The Church spends millions fighting decent treatment for gay people. It says that condoms cause AIDS. It is evil.

    You are part of it.

    You are disgusting.

  64. HawaiiBill says

    Landon: It’s somewhat comincal that you would make the “huffing and puffing” comment since that seems to be your style on this chain of comments. You miss the point that painting every single member of a group with the same brush is what predjudiced people do when they employ stereotypes. That’s what you do when you bach Catholics as a group. Take on the heirarchy of the Catholic CHURCH and I am right there with you. But organizations change more deeply when it is done from the inside, not your attacks. To call ALL Catholics bigots and treat them that way is just ridiculous and if you can’t see that, continue to live in your self-absorbed “ghetto” and don”t expect to see much change in this world.

  65. John says

    I’m a gay ND alum (’94), just thought I’d add my $0.02:

    While I know nothing about the current Observer editorial staff, and while I would hardly hold it up as a paragon of journalistic virtue, I will say that the Observer was, in my time, an ally of the unrecognized gay and lesbian student group. The university officially refused to let us meet on campus, and nominally we were not supposed to be allowed to advertise in the paper. But the Observer accepted our ads anyway, and as a result the group was able to reach more students who desperately needed to be reached.

    No question that they really fucked up here and need to be smacked (perhaps with that same baseball bat?). But don’t assume that everyone at the paper, or that everyone at the university, agrees with this pathetic, worthless piece of crap cartoonist.

    Meanwhile, you can expect that the university’s official response will be something between nothing and forming a very serious committee to determine the appropriate Catholic response to such unfortunate and misguided behavior. I.e. nothing will happen either way.

  66. says

    This is NOT an apology. It is a CYA statement. Notre Dame has a long history of anti-GLBT issues and this is a continuance of that.
    Join HeartStrong, the only org in the world with the sole mission of providing help and hope to GLBT students who are persecuted in religious educational institutions. We are forwarding emails daily to the newspaper editors, the university president and the board of regents.
    Send your email to be forwarded to
    Our message needs to be heard that providing incendiary fodder for hateful people (like publishing this cartoon) is not acceptable.
    For more info join HeartStrong as a cause on Facebook.
    Marc Adams
    Founder/Executive Director

  67. nuflux says

    It’s a decent apology, but I have to point out it says nothing specifically about *antigay* bias and violence being wrong. Yes, there is an oblique reference to the G&L campus group and it obviously can be inferred from the context but the direct statement isn’t there. Instead it talks about Harry Reid’s comments about Obama’s skin color (?) and the University’s “values.”

    I think something larger has been exposed that this University should deal with, and which can’t be swept away by a generalized apology.

  68. Joe Pennock says

    The e-mail address supplied above is not in service. I sent a message telling them that dragging Senator Harry Reid’s remark into the apology was nothing but an EGREGIOUS (their adjective) attempt to lessen the seriousness of their cartoon. This is beyond offensive, and a flippant reference to someone else’s unrelated comment is a blatant insult to everyone.

  69. Landon Bryce says


    All Catholics who have stayed with the church are guilty of its crimes against children, women, and gay people.

    Read the Ryan Report. If you can stay with your church after that, you are just as evil as the bishops who are still ridiculing the kids their underlings fucked for fun.

  70. Chris says

    “This from a university that barely eight months ago made the news for their protest against Obama’s speaking engagement on campus…does their Pope condone this, too
    Rachel Maddow, please interview tearful editor-in-chief!”

    Get your facts straight. The university invited Obama and welcomed him with open arms. Various extremist idiots from across the nation, and who were unaffiliated with the university in any way, were the ones protesting. The school as a whole is pretty accepting and tolerant. It’s not exactly NYU or UC Berkeley, but it’s surprisingly chill and liberal. This is a case of a few bad apples spoiling the barrel.

    -ND Alum ’06

  71. Julian says

    People are attacking and emphasizing the wrong part in this situation. As an openly gay man, who is a graduate of Notre Dame, from what I’ve seen, this has been unprecedented press for the GLBT community here at Notre Dame. GLBT members and supporters from all across the country and all over the world have come together to support the GLBT cause. However, I don’t think the GLBT cause right now is to bash and expose three members of the university and make their lives a living hell. Growing up for me hasn’t been that lovely walk in the park, for the most part it’s been a living hell, but just because I was/am wronged doesn’t mean I can turn my hate against these students. Instead, I’m turning my hate into something that will be MORE productive. What will come of this? From what I can gather, most of you want the heads of these students and ruin their lives completely, but what’s that going to achieve for the GLBT community? Or do you want to seize the moment for which this controversy has opened? People say nothing ‘good’ will come out of this, but something already has! At my time at Notre Dame, never has there been such a heated debate that involved the GLBT community, especially not one to gain such National attention. Notre Dame obviously can’t turn their heads, Fr. Jenkins has already issued a statement, and the next reasonable step seems to be taking care of the GLBT community on campus that it hasn’t for since the existence of the school. Maybe this will allow Notre Dame to FINALLY revise their policies including their non-discrimination clause and start acknowledging GLBT clubs on campus. Something great is developing, but we can only MAKE it great if we START focusing on the actual problems and how we can USE THIS OPPORTUNITY to progress our movement. So instead of posting pictures and phone numbers of the authors, why not do something more productive and start rallying the troops, urge Notre Dame and the Catholic Church to revise their policies towards GLBT. We have more to offer in this controversy than a few choice words and threats.

    The GLBT community is in the spotlight right now, whether we like it or not. We can either use it to our advantage and do something great, or act like all those homophobes that have acted towards us and use this opportunity to ruin their lives. The ball is in our court, we just have to use it wisely.

  72. HawaiiBill says


    Again with the broad brush. With that logic, you living in the United States means you condone what your government does all of the time…otherwise you would renounce your citizenshop (provided you are a US citizen). I also think the Catholic Church as an institution is awful. That is why I left it. But your absolutes trouble me. You’re damning individuals for their institutions. It happens all the time, but doesn’t make it right and allows no room for growth or change.


  73. Patrick says

    I don’t believe this “apology” for one second – what does Harry Reid’s comments have anything to do with the publishing of this extremely offensive cartoon.

    People who want to apologize do so. People who are sorry the blow-back wasn’t what they were expecting look for (supposed) equivalencies in others to deflect the blame.

  74. Landon Bryce says


    Do you think I am wrong for condemning everyone who chooses to belong to the KKK?

    Do you think the KKK can touch the level of evil the Catholic Church has been guilty of?

    How many rapes equal one lynching?

    Your church has raped thousands and thousands of children. One of its members raped me when I was a child.

    I will consider forgiveness when I see actual repentence for the crimes committed against me and thousands of others.

  75. MSteph says

    I wish Jenn Metz’s apology did not simply say that the comic was “hurtful to members of our community.” I wish she had written, explicitly, that it was hurtful to the LGBT folks who belong to her community. Call a spade a spade: As with every other group, lots of Catholics, both priests and lay, are quite queer — and all the more lovable, and deserving of compassion, for that reason.

  76. sunset10086 says

    So many interesting posts. Here is my two cents, for what it is worth: I live very close to N.D. I have dated individuals who attend N.D. A few years back a group of individuals conceived a gay and lesbian film festival that was quite well received. This film festival ran over a couple of days; and was attended by some very well known individuals in the gay community (i.e., film producers, advocates, academics, authors, etc.) After a few successful years the film festival came to an end (the organizers graduated/moved on). There was some controversy surrounding the film festival but nothing huge. A portion of the student body is gay, of course. They, along with their straight friends still visit the local gay club; and there you have it. Ignorance, along with intolerance, will always rear their ugly heads as they never seem to go out of style. We, as a community, should comment loudly, as we have done in this situation, to suppress ingnorance and intolarance expressed by those individuals who see the need to express their hateful messages in such a public way. Another black-eye for N.D. and the Catholic church.

  77. ED2 says

    I call bull.
    What a lame apology.
    It’s one thing to step up to the plate and admit wrongdoing and specify how procedures that will be put in place to rectify the situation and do one’s best to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

    And it’s quite another to blame the cultural atmosphere and point to a Senator whose remarks, while controversial and stupid, didn’t directly condone violence and hatred. How cowardice!

    Pathetic display from a higher institution of learning.

  78. Dieter says

    Well I am sure that Jesus would not encourage this kind of behaviour or humour as the school paper saw it. Shame on the the whole of them. They maybe should take a look a what a real Christian is.

  79. Joe says

    Catholics bashed Jews until it was no longer expedient or politically acceptable. Someday it will no longer be acceptable to bash homosexuals too. I pray the Catholic church sees the light sooner, rather than later. But with their current pope, their ideology and their self hatred homocentric culture, that’s unlikely in my lifetime. God bless ’em all.

  80. Philip Chandler says

    LANDON BRYCE writes: “The Catholic Church is a force for tremendous evil, most notably in its continued rape of children. Anyone who has chosen a Catholic education in this century should be regarded as a hateful bigot who thinks kids deserved to be raped.”

    I have no problem whatsoever with the first observation you make, above. I believe that ANY religion that teaches that a group of men and women are “objectively disordered” and that homosexuality is “evil” is, indeed, a force for tremendous evil. I note, for example, that the Catholic Church in Washington, DC recently tried to blackmail the District into dropping its plans to legalize gay marriage in the District by threatening to withdraw its charitable services in the event that gay marriage was legalized in the District (the Church failed in this effort, and gay marriage is now legal in the District). This was cheap and sordid blackmail, and should have been denounced as such by anybody in possession of all the facts. The Catholic Diocese in Portland, Maine, also succeeded in raising more than $550,000.00 in its effort to repeal the Maine gay marriage statute. These acts – attempting to snatch a basic right from an entire group of persons based on nothing other than dogma and religious bigotry – were indeed acts of great evil, and the Church should be called to account for its behaviour.

    The rape of children, and the manoeuvring of offending priests from parish to parish (where such priests had free reign to sodomize yet additional crops of choirboys) were also acts of great evil, and should be denounced as such by any decent person in possession of all the facts. Recently, the Irish police and the Catholic Church in the Republic of Ireland both came in for criticism following an inquiry which revealed that the police had colluded with prominent Catholic bishops to hush up accusations of rape and pedophilia. These acts stand as a stain on the hands of the Church…

    However, it is going too far to claim that anybody who chooses a Catholic education is necessarily a bigot. Not everybody knows the full extent of the evil embodied in some of this church’s teachings about homosexuality.

    I accept the precept that churches should be free to practice their religions without the state meddling in ecclesiastical matters. However, there is the opposite side to this coin – just as the state has no business meddling in ecclesiastical matters, so too does the church have no business meddling in affairs of state. This is guaranteed by the First Amendment – and there is literally a wealth of case law on point (Lee v. Weisman, 505 U.S. 577 (1992), Lemon v. Kurtzman, 411 U.S. 192 (1973), Employment Div., Dept. of Human Resources of Oregon v. Smith 494 U.S. 872 (1990), City of Boerne v. Flores, 521 U.S. 507 (1997) are all cases on point).

    I have written to “The Observer” and have expressed both my disgust and dismay at the publication of this obscene “cartoon”, which is a direct call to gay-bashing.

    I hope that others on this thread will ACT by writing, faxing, and emailing their complaints to “The Observer”…


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