As reported by WSBT:
Gay Notre Dame students are celebrating a landmark announcement, that the Catholic university is expanding support programs, and creating an official organization to make students from all walks of life feel more welcome.
“˜We want every student on this campus to feel welcomed and included,’ said Erin Hoffmann Harding, Notre Dame Vice President for Student Affairs.
At Think Progress, Zack Ford also provides some context and analysis.
The University of Notre Dame has refused to allow an organization for LGBT students to form at least 15 times, and for 15 years has refused to add sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination statement. Now, the university has announced a new comprehensive plan called, “˜Beloved Friends and Allies: A Pastoral Plan for the Support and Holistic Development of GLBTQ and Heterosexual Students at the University of Notre Dame.’ The plan, to be implemented by next summer, includes hiring a full-time student affairs professional who will serve as advisor to a new LGBT student organization that will be a permanent part of the university (as opposed to a club that would only be temporary). Unfortunately, the news is not all good. …
… the “˜Beloved Friends and Allies’ plan does specify what students can or cannot do. In accordance with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, it is based on a foundation that God demands chastity of people who are LGBT … .
From the “Beloved Friends and Allies” plan:
“˜… the University also adheres to the Church’s teaching concerning homosexual actions. As a result, “Homosexual persons are called to chastity” and to “friendship,” and should cultivate “the virtues of selfÃ¢â‚¬Âmastery that teach them inner freedom” … .’
This is particularly troubling for a university to endorse. Rather than progress for LGBT students, the new plan is more as a lateral move from ignoring them to condemning them.