Student activists Chad Gasman (COL ‘20) and Jasmin Ouseph (SFS ‘19) have circulated a petition to support the defunding of Love Saxa, an official student group. Love Saxa is an organization meant to promote healthy relationships on campus, which, to its leaders, means abstinence before marriage, and other tenets of Catholic teaching on the family. The group is facing criticism for their belief that marriage is only between one man and one woman, and never between two people of the same-sex. The Student Activities Commission will decide on Monday if the group will face sanctions or defunding.
Critics of Love Saxa have pointed to the university’s student organization standards, which specify that clubs will not be eligible for benefits if their purpose or activities foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their sexual preference. The circulated petition asked signatories to describe how Love Saxa has made them feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Love Saxa gained prominence this semester when their president, Amelia Irvine (COL ’19), published an op-ed in The Hoya, outlining the group’s platform. The piece argued against stigmatizing those who choose abstinence, but gained more attention for promoting a narrow definition of marriage. “Love Saxa’s definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as we believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level – emotional, spiritual, physical and mental – directed toward caring for biological children,” Irvine wrote. Critics believe this stance is out of line with university standards.
Love Saxa responded to criticism in a Facebook post. “Our definition of ‘healthy relationships’ and ‘sexual integrity’ is synonymous with those of the Catholic Church, and therefore those of Georgetown University,” they wrote. “If we cannot safely advocate for beliefs synonymous with Catholic social teaching, then no group at Georgetown can be certain of its security.”