Love Saxa does not deserve the benefit of university recognition. As a group whose mission advocates against equal rights for the LGBTQ community, Love Saxa fosters intolerance. As such, the club is antithetical to what a university club should be, and it should be ineligible for any university benefits.
Love Saxa’s self-described mission is the promotion of healthy relationships and sexual integrity. Its core tenets include opposition to pornography and hookup culture, as well as “the primacy of marriage … as a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman,” as stated in its constitution.
As a club officially recognized by the Student Activities Commission and thus Georgetown University, Love Saxa receives university benefits, most notably in the form of funding. Love Saxa receives $250 of SAC’s $330,000 annual budget, in addition to the other benefits that university recognition bestows.
In recent weeks, Jasmin Ouseph (SFS ’19) and GU Pride President Chad Gasman (COL ’20) have raised formal concerns about Love Saxa, arguing that its mission is intolerant and thus in violation of the university’s Student Organization Standards.
These standards state “groups will not be eligible for access to benefits if their purpose or activities … foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their race, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference.”
Marriage rights are vital to the LGBTQ community not only to enshrine equal rights, but also because of the tangible legal and financial benefits marriage allows in the United States, including tax benefits.
Love Saxa’s advocacy of denying individuals’ rights on the basis of their sexual orientations is inherently intolerant. By advocating for unequal rights in its constitution, Love Saxa established its mission in violation of the university’s Student Organization Standards.
A SAC hearing scheduled for Monday, Oct. 23, will determine if Love Saxa has violated these standards and, if so, what sanctions the group might face. SAC can impose sanctions ranging from temporary or permanent loss of privileges to potential fines.
Love Saxa’s constitution also identifies it as “a space [for students] to discuss their experiences of the harmful effects of a distorted view of human sexuality and the human person.” By characterizing the LGBTQ experience as “a distorted view of human sexuality and the human person,” Love Saxa has codified a mission that is fundamentally intolerant and hateful.
Moreover, Love Saxa has also publicized its opposition to the right to marriage for members of the LGBTQ community through its actions. Love Saxa has previously brought to campus speakers like Ryan Anderson, a Heritage Foundation fellow and vehement opponent of same-sex marriage.
By actively advocating a limited definition of marriage that would concretely take rights away from the LGBTQ community, Love Saxa differentiates itself from other Catholic organizations on campus. Though these other groups may agree with Love Saxa’s definition of marriage, actively and vigorously promoting this definition — one that is directly intolerant of the LGBTQ community — is not a primary focus of their missions, as it appears to be for Love Saxa.
Though Georgetown is a Catholic institution that respects the church’s view of marriage, its student groups nevertheless have a responsibility to care for and protect the entire student body.
The university has historically shown extensive tolerance — nothing proves this more than the university’s creation of the LGBTQ Resource Center, the first of its kind at a Jesuit university in the United States.
If we can acknowledge that this center is integral to supporting the LGBTQ community on campus, we can also recognize the importance of protecting this community from those who oppose LGBTQ rights.
This issue is not one of censoring free speech: If Love Saxa is defunded, the group will have the same rights as other unrecognized student groups, including the ability to fundraise, table in free speech zones such as Red Square and use public resources.
Continuing to provide funding and the other benefits that come with university recognition to a group that advocates dismantling rights for other students based on their sexual orientation is entirely contrary to the notion of caring for each and every student, but above all it is counter to the guidelines of the organization that houses the intolerant group.
The Student Organization Standards clearly state that student groups that “foster hatred or intolerance” are not eligible to receive the benefits of university recognition. If SAC seeks to uphold these standards, it must vote to defund Love Saxa.