The president of Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is reportedly defending last week’s campus play promoting same-sex “marriage” but denies the University’s endorsement, despite sponsorship by two faculty departments and initial support from the division of student affairs.
As The Cardinal Newman Society (CNS) reported last month, LMU initially advertised the event as a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Equal Rights, a gay-rights organization that is fighting California’s “Proposition 8” in court. Following inquiries from CNS, the University scrubbed references on its website to a fundraiser and to co-sponsorship by the LMU Office of LGBT Student Services, which had been the primary contact for the event.
But the reading of the play went on last Friday, with co-sponsors including the Department of Communication Studies, the Department of Theater Arts and Dance, and the LMU Faculty and Staff Gay-Straight Network, which is officially recognized by the University.
According to an editorial in the Los Angeles Loyolan, LMU President David Burcham supports the play’s presentation:
“[S]ome jump to the conclusion because certain unpopular speech occurs on our campus that somehow, the fact that this is occurring on our campus signifies that the University endorses it, and that’s just not the case,” Burcham said. “What we endorse, what I endorse, is open, intelligent, respectful discourse. And that’s exactly what we’re going to have with this play.”
But the student newspaper’s managing editor, who supports the play, describes it as anything but “intelligent, respectful discourse”:
On paper, “8” is a clumsily written play, full of preachy monologues and an unwillingness to portray marriage equality opponents as anything but morons. The marriage equality debate deserves a better dramatic interpretation, and I have no doubt that several years down the road, we’ll see one. …Besides, the point of “8” isn’t to be great theatre—it’s activist in nature.
A psychology major at LMU makes a sensible case against the play, arguing that the event advocating same-sex “marriage” was a violation of the University’s Catholic mission:
I believe the reading of “8” exposes a larger problem about the environment of LMU’s campus and the lack of a religious presence. Our University jumps at every opportunity to display “tolerance;” however, the movement largely favors the progressive agenda. In accordance with its mission statement and based on its founding principles, LMU owes it to the students who came to the University in the promise of a Catholic education to provide a visible presence on campus in support of Catholic teachings.
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