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Jesuit Loyola Marymount University Launches LGBT Office

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Kathleen Gilbert

LOS ANGELES, September 28, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) - California's Loyola Marymount University (LMU) has become the third Jesuit institution of higher education in the U.S. to establish an office dedicated to ministering to gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students.

California Catholic Daily pointed out a Sept 20 article in the LMU student newspaper, The Loyolan, celebrating the launch of the Office for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered Student Services (GLBTSS) under the Division of Student Affairs. The article welcomed the event as “a milestone in LMU’s history—and the history of Jesuit universities.”

Unlike the school's student-run Gay Straight Alliance club, the GLBTSS will supply professional staff to minister to LGBT students, following in the footsteps of Georgetown University and Gonzaga University.  Dr. Lane Bove, senior vice president for Student Affairs, described the office's role as promoting "equality, visibility and inclusion of LGBT students within the LMU community" as well as "advocacy and support for the LGBT student community" and engaging "regular dialogues about the intersection of sexual orientation and gender identity with issues of faith, religion and culture.”

Rev. Robert Scholla, S.J., the rector of the LMU Jesuit Community, told the student paper in the Sept 20 article that he considered the new office "a great thing that has happened.” Several professors agreed.

"Not only does the University community have something to learn from the LGBT office, staff and students, but there is also an opportunity here for education about the Church’s broader position on sexual morality, and on its pastoral support and outreach to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered persons in particular," philosophy department chair Sr. Mary Beth Ingham, C.S.J., told the paper.

At the Web site of LMU's Intercultural Affairs/Sexual and Gender Identity Office, the school states a commitment to "developing socially responsible men and women" who will "learn to value the unique qualities of diverse cultures." Notably, the graphic for the office's site includes a photograph of a young woman holding a sign protesting Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment in California establishing the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman.

The school's Gay Straight Alliance club flaunts a sexually promiscuous image, promoting trips to "some hot clubs" and displaying fleeting moments of homosexual intimacy among students in a 2008 compilation video. The school's financial aid office also points students toward scholarships for homosexual students.

Such openness to homosexual "culture" was not always the story at LMU.

Homosexualists were pushing the limits at LMU as far back as 1990, when the Alliance of Gays and Lesbians held an event on campus despite then-university President James Loughran rejecting their bid for official group status. According to a Los Angeles Times article, Loughran issued an unsigned statement urging the school to support homosexual individuals, but affirming that the university "cannot endorse or condone ... a sexually active homosexual lifestyle."

When LifeSiteNews.com sought clarification on LMU's change in policy, a form response was provided outlining the office's goals of inclusivity and stating that "being gay or lesbian is not a sin," that the Catholic Church recognizes only marriage between a man and a woman, and that LMU urges celibacy among non-married students. "The Church’s position beyond that is pastoral, one of outreach and counseling a life of celibacy to the LGBT community," stated the document. "We realize that this may be a difficult cross to bear, but the Church only approves of sexual relations between a man and a woman within the confines of marriage."

The Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles did not return a request for comment.

In an opinion column found in the September 23 issue of the Loyolan, student Kenneth Valahos echoed Loughran's sentiments two decades ago, saying that "the University should make one thing perfectly clear in writing, side-by-side with the mission statement of the LGBT office: We love and support the LGBT student, but we do not support the sin of a homosexual lifestyle.”

"The image of the LMU Lion, brave and courageous, seems hollow when the University cowers to biblically immoral special interest groups like the LGBT community," he wrote.

"When applying to LMU, students are lured in with the promise of a Catholic education, but once they get here, they realize their tuition is in part funding an organization which the Roman Catholic Church does not support. Is this just?"

Contact:

David W. Burcham, Interim President, LMU  
[email protected]

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Lisa Bourne

‘You can’t have’ marriage equality ‘without polygamy’

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By Lisa Bourne

July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Motivated by the U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing homosexual “marriage,” a Montana polygamist has filed for a second marriage license, so he can be legally wed to two women at once.

"It's about marriage equality," said Nathan Collier, using homosexual advocates’ term to support marriage redefinition. "You can't have this without polygamy."

Collier, who has has appeared on the TLC reality show Sister Wives with his legal wife Victoria, and his second wife Christine, said he was inspired by the dissent in the Supreme Court decision.

The minority Supreme Court justices said in Friday’s ruling it would open the door to both polygamy and religious persecution.

“It is striking how much of the majority’s reasoning would apply with equal force to the claim of a fundamental right to plural marriage,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts.

Collier and his wives applied for a second marriage license earlier this week at the Yellowstone County Courthouse in Billings, a report from the Salt Lake Tribune said.

Collier, who was excommunicated from the Mormon Church for polygamy, married Victoria in 2000 and had a religious wedding ceremony with Christine in 2007. The three have seven children between them and from previous relationships.

"My second wife Christine, who I'm not legally married to, she's put up with my crap for a lot of years. She deserves legitimacy," Collier said.

Yellowstone County officials initially denied the application before saying they would consult with the County Attorney and get him a final answer.

Click "like" if you want to defend true marriage.

Bigamy, the holding of multiple marriage licenses, is illegal all 50 states, but Collier plans to sue if his application is denied. Officials expect to have an answer for him next week.

While homosexual “marriage” supporters have long insisted legalization of same-sex unions would not lead to polygamy, pro-life and family advocates have warned all along it would be inevitable with the redefinition of marriage.

“The next court cases coming will push for polygamy, as Chief Justice John Roberts acknowledged in his dissent,” said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women for America, after the Supreme Court ruling. “The chief justice said “the argument for polygamy is actually stronger than that for ‘gay marriage.’ It’s only a matter of time.”

In a piece from the Washington Times, LifeSiteNews Editor-in-Chief and the co-founder of Voice of the Family John-Henry Westen stated the move toward legal polygamy is “just the next step in unraveling how Americans view marriage.”

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Chris Christie: Clerks must perform same-sex ‘marriages’ regardless of their religious beliefs

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By Ben Johnson

TRENTON, NJ, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Chris Christie is not known for nuance. This time, he has turned his fiery personality loose on county clerks and other officials who have religious objections to performing same-sex “marriages.”

In a tone usually reserved for busting teachers' unions, Christie told clerks who hold traditional values, “You took the job, and you took the oath.” He would offer no exemption for an individual whose conscience would not allow him to participate in a union the vast majority of the world's religions deem sinful.

“When you go back and re-read the oath it doesn’t give you an out. You have to do it,” he said.

He told a reporter that there “might” be “individual circumstances” that “merit some examination, but none that come immediately to mind for me.”

“I think for folks who are in the government world, they kind of have to do their job, whether you agree with the law or you don’t,” the pugnacious governor said.

Since the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to legalize homosexual “marriage” last Friday, elected officials have grappled with how to safeguard the rights of those who have deeply held religious beliefs that would not allow them to participate in such a ceremony.

Christie's response differs markedly from other GOP hopefuls' responses to the Supreme Court ruling. Mike Huckabee, for instance, has specifically said that clerks should have conscience rights. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal signed an executive order granting such rights and ordered clerks to wait until a pending court case was fully adjudicated before any clerk issues a marriage license to a homosexual couple.

Christie gave up a legal appeal after a superior court judge struck down his state's voter-approved constitutional marriage protection amendment. New Jersey is the only state where such a low court overturned the will of the voters.

The decision to ignore conscience rights adds to the growing number of Christie's positions that give conservatives pause.

The natural locus of support for a Christie 2016 presidential run is the Republican's socially liberal donor class, for personal as well as political reasons. His wife works on Wall Street, and some of the GOP's high-dollar donors – including Paul Singer – have courted Christie for years.

However, this year Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and to a lesser degree Scott Walker have eclipsed Christie as the preferred candidates of the boardroom donors – who sometimes prefer Democrats to Republicans.

Christie also used language during a speech before the Republican Jewish Coalition last year, which concerned some major GOP donors.

Christie is reportedly spending this weekend with Mitt Romney and his family at Romney's New Hampshire home. Romney declined to enter the 2016 race himself and may be able to open his donor list to Christie's struggling campaign.

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After having a girl with Down syndrome, this couple adopted two more

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By Ben Johnson

LINO LAKE, MN, July 3, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – For most people, having five biological children would have been enough. In fact, for many Americans, large families are treated as a scandal or a burden.

But one family made the decision, not just to have a large family, but to give a home to some of the most vulnerable children in the world: Girls born overseas with Down syndrome.

Lee and Karen Shervheim love all seven of their children, biological or otherwise. Undeterred by having twin boys – Daniel and Andrew, 18 – they had Sam four years later.

They now have three daughters who are all 11 years old. All three have Down syndrome.

And two of them are adopted.

About the time their eight-year-old son, David, was born, Lee and Karen decided to adopt a child with Down syndrome to be a companion to their daughter, Annie.

They made the further unexpected choice to adopt a child from Eastern Europe with the help of Reece's Rainbow, which helps parents adopt children with Down syndrome.

“Between my wife and I, we couldn’t get it out of our heads,” Lee told the Quad City Press. “So many children need families and we knew we could potentially do something about it.”

After originally deciding to adopt Katie, they spent six weeks in Kiev, visiting an orphanage in nearby Kharkov. While there, they decided they may have room in their heart, and their home, for another child.

When they saw a picture of Emie striking the same pose as their biological daughter in one of their photographs, they knew they would come home with two children.

Both girls were the same age as their Annie. She would not lack for companionship, as they worried.

Lee said after the Ukrainian government – finally – completed the paperwork, they returned to the United States, when the real challenges began.

“The unvarnished truth,” Lee told the Press, is that adopting the Russian-speaking special needs children “was really disruptive to our family. They came with so many issues that we had not anticipated.”

After teaching them sign language and appropriate behavior, they moved to Lino Lake, Minnesota and found a new support group in Eagle Brook Church. There they found personal assistance and spiritual solace.

Every year in the past seven years has been better and better, they say.

“I think my girls can do almost anything they want to do,” he said, “and that’s what I want to help them become.”

The family's devotion is fueled by their faith, and it informs the sense of humor Lee showed in a tweet during the 2014 midterm elections:

It takes a special person to believe in the potential of the “mentally retarded,” as they were once labeled. Today, 90 percent of all babies diagnosed with Down syndrome in the womb will be aborted. The percentage is higher in some countries. Some have even spoken of "a world without people with Down syndrome."

Their God, and their experience, tell them that every child has infinite worth and potential, Lee told local media, and he would encourage anyone to follow his footsteps and adopt a Down syndrome child – or two.

“The message is that it really doesn’t matter where you started or where you came from,” Lee said. “There are endless opportunities for everyone, whether they have disabilities or not. They deserve a shot.”

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