By Kathleen Gilbert

ST. LOUIS, Missouri, December 2, 2008 ( – When protesters took to the streets in a nationwide rally against California’s true marriage amendment, Proposition 8, students from Saint Louis University (SLU), a Jesuit-run school, joined about 1,400 others gathered on the steps of the St. Louis courthouse.

Emma Obata, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences, said she joined the protest “because I support gay marriage, and I don’t think hate should be encoded into law,” reports the school’s online newspaper.  Several dozen SLU students bolstered the crammed crowd of protesters waving signs and cheering homosexualist speakers.

“I want to speak out. I think that this proposition goes against what the United States is about,” said Thomas Bloom, a sophomore in the college of Arts and Sciences. He objected to Proposition 8 as a case of “the majority of people taking away the rights of a minority.”

College Republicans president Amy Kaufman attended the rally, and despite holding a sign reading, “You can’t legislate love, Republican against Prop. 8,” she told the newspaper that she could not understand why the definition of marriage mattered at all. 

“There are bigger problems in the world. This is absurd that people are fighting so hard over the definition of a word,” said Kaufman.

The nationwide anti-marriage effort sparked protests in cities large and small nationwide and was organized by a group known as JoinTheImpact.  After the rally, the organization celebrated on their website that “we brought the world’s attention to the outrage that is Proposition 8.”

“We brought the conversation of equality into the living rooms of America and around the world! Today, we took a gigantic step into the next Civil Rights Movement.”

Like many other U.S. Catholic campuses, SLU hosts an open homosexual student group known as the Rainbow Alliance.  In a section entitled, “Our Catholic Jesuit Heritage,” the Rainbow Alliance web page lists other Catholic schools “bonded together by a common heritage, vision, and purpose,” which also recognize homosexual pride groups.  (

A recent survey by The Cardinal Newman Society’s (CNS) Center for the Study of Catholic Higher Education found that students’ support for Catholic teaching on issues such as same-sex “marriage” actually declined over four years at U.S. Catholic institutions.

A later survey found that 65% of current and recent students of Catholic universities between the ages of 18 and 29 agreed that “the law should permit marriage between two people of the same sex,” with only 35% disagreeing.

(To see the CNS report, go to:

“The evidence shows that catholic colleges and universities are not providing guidance to students on a very key moral issue of same-sex marriage, and this is the result,” Patrick Reilly, president of the Newman Society, told

“If students at Catholic colleges can’t be relied upon to defend the sanctity of marriage, then politically the issue may be lost.”

Repeated requests to St. Louis University for comment were not returned by press time.

To contact SLU President Fr. Lawrence Biondi, S.J.:
  DuBourg Hall, Rm. 206
  One Grand Blvd.
  St. Louis, MO  63103-2097
  phone: (314) 977-7777
  email: [email protected]


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