Catholic college adds ‘gender identity’ and ‘sexual orientation’ to non-discrimination clause

Timothy Dionisopoulos

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  • Provides special protection to LGBT community
  • President announced policy change late Friday after consulting with board of trustees
  • Providence College was recently under fire in media after cancelling pro-gay marriage speaking event
  • Providence College was under scrutiny last month after cancelling a speech with a pro-gay marriage academic.

    Providence College, a Catholic school in Rhode Island, added sexual orientation and gender identity to it's official non-discrimination clause on Friday.

    School President Fr. Brian Shanley announced the change to the non-discrimination clause in a campus-wide email.

    “The Cabinet and the board concluded that, as a community,if we are to promote the “human flourishing of each member of the campus community, as our Mission Statement compels us to do, we should publicly acknowledge our practice of treating prospective and current members of the student body and workforce with dignity and respect as created in the image and likeness of God,” he wrote.

    Shanley wrote that this was a joint effort of the administration, the trustees as well as the student congress and the faculty senate.

    He also cited other Catholic institutions such as Boston College, Georgetown University, and Holy Cross which have adopted similar policies.

    Providence College received national media scrutiny late last month after school administrators cancelled an event with pro-gay marriage speaker Dr. John Corvino.

    The college has since rescheduled the event with Corvino for later this academic year, where he will appear alongside a speaker who will provide the church’s position on gay marriage.

    In an email to Campus Reform school spokesman Steve Maurano said “the change in policy was not related to the issue with Dr. Corvino.”

    “Fr. Shanley then brought the issue before the Board of Trustees – who met on campus last Thursday and Friday – and they also agreed that the notice should be changed," he added. "So the change was made.” 

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @TimPDion

    Timothy Dionisopoulos

    Timothy Dionisopoulos


    Tim Dionisopoulos is a reporter for LI's Campus Reform and works as a communications editor in LI’s Campus Leadership Program.

    Tim has been with LI's Campus Reform since the summer of 2011, and his stories have been cited or re-posted on the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report, Fox News, and other national media outlets.

    Tim graduated in 2011 from Providence College in Rhode Island where he was politically active on campus and in the community.


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