CUAllies Reconsidered

By Alice Perrigo

This year at Catholic University, new opportunities are brought to campus for CUAllies, Catholic University’s unofficial LGBTQ+ advocacy group on campus.

Founded in 2009, the goal of CUAllies according to their Facebook page is to “aide in the creation of a respectful, compassionate, and understanding community at CUA,” and, “facilitate progress at CUA among LGBT persons and people of faith by engaging in respectful dialogue to achieve equal dignity and treatment of all students, facility, and staff.”

As of now CUAllies remains as an unrecognized organization by Catholic University. Since CUAllies is not an officially sanctioned organization in the eyes of Catholic University, the unofficial organization is unable to reserve campus facilities for meetings and cannot use the school’s resources to promote themselves to members of the University and surrounding community. In past years, the CUAllies have applied to be officially recognized by Catholic University, but their request was denied in the Fall Semester of 2012.

Though on the CUAllies Facebook page they make their intent to pursue the matter clear: “CUAllies wants recognition as a legitimate group at the Catholic University of America so that all students, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity, will be accepted and treated with respect.”

However, things have changed since 2012. The Supreme Courts ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges on June 26, 2015 legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, perhaps indicating that public opinion on the LGBTQ+ community is also changing.

“CUAllies’ mission, particularly since the organization has been fundamentally changed over the past few months, has been to further the understanding and dignity of LGBT students at CUA and no court order can achieve that,” said Stephen Morris, Vice President of CUAllies. “Without getting into the weeds of intricate legal questions, we believe that by continuing to be a positive voice on behalf of LGBT students, CUAllies can and will demonstrate to the administration the merit of officially recognizing it and we are committed to showing the administration what great benefits the new CUAllies can provide to all members of this campus.

“I think society is developing and gay people are being more accepted and we should make them feel like they are being more accepted even if this is a Catholic school,” says Andrea Perez-Hickman, a Freshman Accounting major, “God made each and every one of us so why would we discriminate against someone God made that way.”

Also, different are the local laws in Washington, DC regarding the LGBTQ+ community. December 2014, Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Human Rights Amendment Act into law, which will now require all schools, including religiously affiliated institutions, to abide by the non-discrimination laws set forth in the Human Rights Act.

The Human Rights Amendment Act signed by Mayor Bowser repeals the amendment established in 1989. Known as the Armstrong Amendment, it allowed for religiously affiliated DC schools to defy the non-discrimination legislation because of conflicts with faith and religious beliefs.

Now that the amendment has been repealed, CUAllies can use the loss of Armstrong Amendment as an argument for official recognition by Catholic University.

“It is really important that the Catholic faith is open and accepting and understanding because, to me, that’s the definition of what a Catholic is, especially since it’s been a struggle to be open in this way,” says Mariagustina “Miji” Fabara, a Freshman Music major, “As a Catholic you should willing and open to love them for who they are because after all, they are people.”

If you would like to become involved with CUAllies, they will be holding their first meeting of the year Monday, November 9th at 7PM at Barnes & Noble on Monroe Street in Brookland. You can also find CUAllies on Twitter @cuallies, or www.facebook.com/cuallies.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.