Students demand Catholic college 'break from church doctrine' to establish dedicated LGBTQ+ center

Boston College, a Jesuit Catholic school, has denied multiple requests by students to establish an LGBTQ+ center.

A student newspaper has repeatedly posted articles blasting the school for upholding its Catholic values.

Boston College (BC) continues to face calls from students to establish a dedicated center for students who identify as LGBTQ+, following a years-long trend.

BC, a Jesuit Catholic institution, currently has an intercultural center on campus with resources for LGBTQ+ students. Despite this, students are advocating for a dedicated space specifically for students who identify with the LGBTQ+ community.

The Boston Globe reported on April 6 that BC has repeatedly denied requests to establish the center. The Heights, a BC student newspaper, has published articles detailing student requests to create a dedicated LGBTQ+ center from as far back as 2015.

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The latest denial of the BC administration to establish such a center reportedly came in November of last year.

In March 2021, The Heights Editorial Board called on the school to “break from church doctrine again” to establish an LGBTQ+ Center after claiming they did so once when they “refused to divest from fossil fuels” in response to the Vatican’s call to divest from anything that is “harmful to human or social ecology.” 

Another opinion piece published in April 2021 by an outgoing student called BC a “deeply homophobic institution.”

According to these articles, students have been pointing to several other Catholic institutions, such as Georgetown University, which have established LGBTQ+ centers. Despite already having an intercultural center on campus that offers LGBT resources, these students say that simply “adding resources” isn’t enough, and a dedicated space should be made for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Twitter account Boston College Students 4 Equality has posted numerous times calling out BC, such as on April 7 when they linked to the Boston Globe piece, criticizing the college for their “continued discrimination against queer and trans students.”

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The demand for the dedicated space comes amid schools with religious affiliations from around the country offering resources or dedicated spaces to students who identify with the LGBTQ+ community. Campus Reform has previously covered such instances of schools giving in to the requests of the community.

A Christian group, Vessel, was targeted last month by students attempting to ban them from DePaul University in Chicago, which is a Catholic institution. Students launched a petition against the group for “promoting discrimination against members of the LGBTQIA+ community.” The group had simply stated their affirmation of traditional Biblical and Catholic teaching on human sexuality.

Meanwhile, the Student Senate at the University of Notre Dame recently passed a resolution to “increase representation of LGBTQ+ individuals, racial, and ethnic minorities in their full-time and part-time counseling staff.” This came after a survey by the Student Senate indicated that LGBTQ+ students felt uncomfortable sharing their identity with the current counselors.  

Campus Reform has reached out to all of the relevant parties for comment, and will update this article as needed. 

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