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News :: Education : GLBT/Queer
Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
15 Apr 2005
On Friday, April 15, 2005 over 1,000 students, professors and administrators gathered in support of ending discrimination against members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community at Boston College. As student organizers called for a university strike, hundreds of students opted not to attend classes, with dozens of professors expressing their solidarity by canceling their sections.

The official notice of non-discrimination for Boston College does not offer any legal protection from discrimination for members of the GLBT community. In fact the clause is written in a manner to deliberately invoke an exemption from Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. For over a decade students and faculty have worked to get “sexual orientation” included in the statement, but their requests have repeatedly been rejected by the University.
front of march.jpg
Massive Day of Protest at Boston College
On Friday, April 15, 2005 over 1,000 students, professors and administrators gathered in support of ending discrimination against members of the Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender (GLBT) community at Boston College. As student organizers called for a university strike, hundreds of students opted not to attend classes, with dozens of professors expressing their solidarity by canceling their sections.

The official notice of non-discrimination for Boston College does not offer any legal protection from discrimination for members of the GLBT community. In fact the clause is written in a manner to deliberately invoke an exemption from Massachusetts anti-discrimination laws. For over a decade students and faculty have worked to get “sexual orientation” included in the statement, but their requests have repeatedly been rejected by the University.

In early March, the student body overwhelming endorsed the addition of “sexual orientation” to the non-discrimination policy. A student referendum was passed by 84% with the highest voter turnout in Boston College’s history. The referendum also received the support of over 200 members of the Boston College faculty, staff, and Jesuit community. Despite such tremendous support, the University President, Fr. William Leahy, continues to reject the student’s proposal, which organizers claim more adequately reflects the welcoming and inclusive attitudes of the BC faculty, staff, and students who make up this community. In response to such ongoing reluctance, student organizers decided on a strike and day of action as the next necessary steps for this growing movement.

As the day commenced, student organizers proclaimed, “We strike because our Jesuit education demands that we put our knowledge into action. We strike because we care deeply about Boston College. We strike to uphold the human dignity of every person, regardless of her/his sexual orientation.”

At noon droves of people congregated in the center of campus for a rally, which included speeches and personal testimonials by members of the student body, representatives of the student government, and high-ranking faculty members.

Theresa Hammond, chairperson of the accounting department, reflected on the difficulties that she has experienced as a homosexual professor working at Boston College. Overwhelmed by the success of the rally, she commented, “This is the greatest event that I have witnessed in my fifteen years at Boston College.”

Following the rally the group marched beyond the borders of their campus and along Commonwealth Avenue in Newton reciting chants. For over an hour, slogans such as “Who’s school? Our school!” and “Discrimination, NEVER! Equal rights, NOW!” could be heard throughout the Heights.

Looking back on the events of the day, Ravi Kalwani, Research Assistant in Merkert Laboratory and member of the class of 2005, stated, “The passion exhibited today on our campus expressed that which I have been trying to convey for the last four years. It was laborious work, but as my eyes welled up with tears and my heart skipped a beat I realized that today was, indeed, a watershed moment in the history of Boston College.”

Organizers were overjoyed with the massive turnout and the enthusiasm demonstrated by all of those involved. With the next round of negotiations slated for Tuesday, April 19, students look to the meeting with hope and strongly believe that the changes to the non-discrimination clause that they desire will soon be made.
from above.jpg
Massive Day of Protest at Boston College
See also:
http://www.bcequality.org

This work is in the public domain.
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Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
16 Apr 2005
I wish these students the very best in their
battle for simple human respect.

It is so very sad that many "Christians"
- even Catholics - feel the need to hate and
despise this pretty defenseless and totally
harmless social group.

It is long overdue that Church leaders stood up
fulsquare and firmly for justice and understanding
rather than prejudice and ignorance.

The Vatican was wrong about the Jews, Witches,
Galileo, Usury and many other things. It will
eventually have to admit that it is wrong about
this issue too. The longer that the inevitable
is postponed, the more humiliating will the
climb-down be!

http://www.geocities.com/pharse
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
16 Apr 2005
Jesus said that we will be judged by how we treat our brothers and sister (Mt 25:31-46). I don't think that dehumanizing people with vulgarities is "Christian love and charity." It is a verbal expression of hate.

Fortunately no one will go to a page trying to save homosexuals by changing the way God created them. This misunderstanding of the Gospel message is outdated and being replaced by the love and acceptance that Jesus preached about.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
21 Apr 2005
What a waste of time. Boston College has never discriminated against gays even though they don't have it in their non-discrimination policy. Nice way to turn people against your cause.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
22 Apr 2005
Marching turns people against a movement???
That's funny because *breaks into song* I LOVE A PARADE!!! bum bum bum!

I'm am soooooooo gay.... and its a good thing.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
22 Apr 2005
BC is a Catholic university. They don't allow condom or abortion advertisements in the Heights newspaper. Homosexuality is against the teachings of the church. It is rediculous to demand that a religious school go against the tenets of its religion.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
22 Apr 2005
BC certainly does disciminate against gays. It took years of struggle to allow gay students to form a recognized student group, and even then it 1) is only allowed to engage in education, not advocacy; and 2) has to report to a special member of the administration, not the same one all the other student groups report to. Yes, it could be worse, but it's not a welcoming atmosphere. You do not, for instance, see same-sex couples walking around campus holding hands, unlike Wesleyan where I went as an undergrad (I'm a grad student at BC).

The administration has also forbidden the health center to distribute birth control, which is really problematic given that BC is quite a party school.

As for going against official Church doctrine--well, there are other Catholic schools that do include sexual orientation in their anti-discrimination clause; and most US Catholics don't agree with official Church teachings on sexuality anyway. The Catholic Church is really out of touch with most Catholics, which is why you're getting these things like the growth of Voices of the Faithful and people taking over their parish churches to keep them open.

Tradition is important is any religious group. But blindly clinging to tradition is a mistake and betrays the best in any religious tradition. Religions need to be open to change, to learn and grow, not to blindly cling to ideas from the Middle Ages. If the Catholic Church hierarchy doesn't engage in some serious itrospection and overhaul the way it works and its teachings, it may be in for some deep trouble, a real revolt within the ranks. But that's probably what it will take for the Church to change.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
23 Apr 2005
Matthew you are so wrong on this and obviously you simply don't understand the Catholic Church. RUle number 1 in the Catholic Church is that it is not a democracy. It never has been and it never will be. If the faithful don't like it, then they are not relly faithful and in reality the church has the opinion that if you do not adhere to church teachings, then you are free to leave the church. Declining numbers - perhaps - except in Africa, South America, the middle east, and europe. America is not the norm in the Catholic world. America is full of self centered, have it your way, I can do whatever I want undisciplined individuals. If you know that BC is a Catholic school, but you apply anyway and spend 40K per year to go there - don't be surprised when the CATHOLIC JESUIT school acts like a CATHOLIC JESUIT school. Vote with your dollars and go to a more liberal school.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
25 Apr 2005
I agree with an earlier poster. It is ridiculous to attempt this. The Church is right on the matter of homosexuality.
Re: Massive Day of Protest at Boston College in Support of Gay Rights
11 Aug 2005
i dont agreeeeeee
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06 Jun 2006
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