Catholic Layola University Opens Up to … Gay Marriage?


John Litchfield, is 26, gay, and attending the Chicago School of Law at Loyola University. Yes, the Catholic school. Perhaps not as perplexing as a gay guy enrolling at Brigham Young, but still, the question begs: What homo wants to attend a university (let alone pay them tuition) that is founded on a religion that hates their kind? To be sure, plenty of America’s schools are religious-based, including Boston College and St. John’s. They’re good schools. But their underlining principles align a little too closely with crap like this. But Mr. Litchfield wants his law degree, from a respectable school, and so good for him. Actually, great for him: Litchfield took it upon himself to start the school’s first gay group. It’s called OUTlaw. Clever! More clever is OUTlaw’s latest event: a symposium on gay marriage. What’s this? A Catholic school hosting a forum to debate the possible legitimacy of supposed sins?

Writes Mary Schmich in the Chicago Tribune:

If Loyola were a public school, I might have deleted Litchfield’s e-mail about the symposium. Life is heavy with press releases. But the fact that one of Chicago’s Catholic institutions was opening its grand “ceremonial courtroom” to same-sex marriage advocates seemed worth some consideration.

“I think this reflects young Catholics in Chicago,” said Litchfield, a slender guy with short auburn hair, neatly dressed in slacks, a white shirt and a navy pullover sweater. When I arrived, he’d been reading a news article—new rules for hedge funds—on his iPod.

“People in this age group, 22 to 30,” he went on, “are mature, able to think things through.”

He doesn’t mean that all young Catholics think gays should be allowed to marry. But except for a single instance in his first year—someone ripped the group’s posters off a wall in a locker room—he’s felt entirely supported at this school where crucifixes hang in the classrooms.