Thursday, January 22, 2009

Media Release: Catholic University Denies Event Sponsorship


On Saturday, January 24, 2009, hundreds of students will come to Catholic University in Washington DC to participate in a conference by Students for Life of America. Booths by sponsoring organization will be lined up to provide information to these students. But missing this year will be the booth staffed by the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL).

In the past PLAGAL has participated in the Students for Life conference at Catholic University with an overwhelmingly positive response from the students. It has been an opportunity to see and hear the pro-life message presented in a unique fashion and conference attendees have been eager to engage PLAGAL members in discussion about issues they may have never considered before.

This year, however, students will not have that opportunity. Officials at Catholic University are denying PLAGAL the opportunity to sponsor a booth. They maintain that they have a right to accept or deny sponsorship to any group coming onto their campus that is not consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Although there has been a great deal of communication between PLAGAL board members and Catholic University, the university continues to deny PLAGAL access to booth space at the 2009 conference.

The mission of PLAGAL has always been concerned with preserving the life of the unborn and caring for the mothers of these children. While PLAGAL gears their message toward the LGBT community, it is a message that college students are more willing to hear today than ever before. “The gay community is more pro-life than ever before and the younger generation is more pro-gay than ever before. Now is a time for us to come and work together towards a common goal, not to point out our differences and isolate ourselves,” states Jackie Blum, Executive Vice President of PLAGAL.

Unfortunately, focusing on our differences and not how we can work together is exactly what Catholic University has chosen to do. Abortion affects the lives of thousands of individuals per day. We can no longer afford the luxury of isolation. We must be willing to put aside our differences and take care of those among us who are the most vulnerable – the unborn and their mothers.


The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians (PLAGAL) was organized in 1990 to advance the pro-life message within the lesbian and gay community. PLAGAL is a 501(c) (3) Massachusetts-based corporation with nation-wide membership and active groups in several major cities in the United States.


Mac said...

As a CUA student, let me deeply apologize. This is not all reflective of the attitudes of many of the students. Unfortunately, this school has a far-right wing streak, and its administration is stubbornly bureaucratic and ruthlessly authoritarian. I've been going here for three years now, and quite frankly coming here has been something I've regretted.

Marysia said...

Where can we send our emails of protest?!

Jen R said...

This is sad. I plan to contact Students for Life of America and ask them to find a different place to hold their conference in the future if Catholic University won't allow PLAGAL to have a booth.

Emily. said...

You're doing great things Cece, I really look up to you. I can't wait to see how it went! Hurry and post!

Jackie B said...

Thank you to all who have written so far. The students of CUA were supportive of PLAGAL's attendance and we really would have liked the students' wishes to govern decisions, not religious legalism.

Students for Life has informed us that they are seeking a new venue for this conference for a variety of reasons, including PLAGAL not being allowed to participate.

And last, as far as e-mails of protest, I will need to check on that, but will update you once I have an answer.


Marysia said...


I am so glad CUA students and the Students for Life organization support PLAGAL in this matter.

I have already sent emails to:

Kristan Hawkins, Students for Life of America President,

Justine Garbarino, Editor,
The Tower (Catholic University of America Student Newspaper)

But the ones who really need to hear directly from us are the administrators who made this decision to exclude PLAGAL. I suspect there will be some evasion and lack of transparency here, but it still may be possible to find out who is responsible.

Marysia said...

The Catholic University student paper, the Tower, ran my letter--please also note the comments.

Alas, there was also this:

And as far as I can tell, the adminstration's decision to exclude PLAGAL has not become any more transparent.

Jen R said...

That second letter was horrible! He's actually asserting that CUA gets to determine who can and cannot be part of the prolife movement.

Cecilia Brown said...

What I found amazing is in the second letter it was stated that we did not understand CUA's reasons for not allowing us. It was not that we did not understand them. We don't know what they are. When I contacted CUA I could not get a straight answer on what the reasoning is. No matter how I tried to clarify what they said the more confused I got. All I can do is make assumptions based on my previous experiences with prolifers.