A Hopeful First Step? (I Hope)

Posted by Censor Librorum on Mar 17, 2008 | Categories: Lesbians & Gays

The University of Portland, run by the Holy Cross Fathers, has recognized a club that seeks to build community and understanding between gay and straight students.   Approved in January, the Gay Straight Partnership‘s mission statement   says it “aims to help all students grow in friendship, knowledge, faith and service.” Club members also plan to educate students on issues surrounding sexuality–without advancing an agenda.university-of-portland.jpg

The University approved the club after asking for some changes in its proposal,  including the removal of a section on networking with other schools. It also requested the group offer a clear, faithful presentation of the Catholic church’s teaching on sexuality and sexual orientation. The university turned down clubs in 1994 and 1999 that seemed to promote beliefs counter to Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

“I’m delighted and honored that this group of students got to be involved in a process and it went this way and got recognized,” club founder Valerie Silliman told The Beacon, the University of Portland newspaper.

Silliman, a senior English major from Sequim, Washington, said the club will make the university a more welcoming place.

Ms. Silliman and club members – I hope it is true.   Good luck in your pioneering ministry to students, faculty,  university administrators, press and church officials. Your faith will certainly be challenged at times…I hope  it is also strengthened  through participation in a spiritual community of friends and lovers.  

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