Film Screening Touches Off Controversy at Catholic University

Catholicism and sexuality have met yet again, this time on a university’s campus. The Catholic University of America recently told a school club to postpone the screening of Milk due to the linkage that the screening had to LGBT Awareness Month. Milk is a movie about the gay rights pioneer of the same name.

Harvey Milk was an American politician and the first openly gay person to be elected to office in California. Milk served for 11 months, enacting stringent gay rights ordinances in San Francisco, until on November 27, 1978, when Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor.

Photo courtesy of Flickr/San Francisco Public Library

Photo courtesy of  San Francisco Public Library / Flickr

A chapter of the College Democrats at Catholic had planned on screening the movie Milk as a part of an event they called “Milk and Cookies." The club wanted to use this event to kick off LGBT Awareness Month. On Wednesday, October 2nd, a Catholic student affairs official who had seen the flier called the group and requested that it hold off on running the event. University spokesman Victor Nakas said Thursday the connection to a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender awareness month “took officials by surprise.”

University officials questioned whether the event was one for education or advocacy. The Director of Campus Activities is working with the College Democrats to review the program request to ensure that the program is presented as an educational event.

As a result of this postponement of the screening, the College Democrats of Catholic have apologized for the “miscommunication” in regards to their advertising.

Boston College has been ranked, along with other universities such as Notre Dame, Providence College, and Texas A&M University, by The Princeton Review as one of “The 12 Least LGBT-Friendly Colleges In The Country," begging the question if the powers that be at BC would react in the same way as Catholic University.

To learn more about GLBTQ resources at Boston College, and to decide for yourself if BC really is LGBT unfriendly, you can visit: http://www.bc.edu/offices/dos/GLBTQ.html. You can take note of the clubs that BC currently has in place to support the LGBT community and decide for yourself if there is room for improvement.

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Nicole Strik