Few would claim that Georgetown is a model for U.S. universities in supporting its campus LGBTQ community, but its neighbors in northeast D.C. are sure making it look that way.

In early August, The Catholic University of America denied a student LGBTQ outreach group recognition as an official student organization, according to a CUAllies press release. Today, CUAllies operates as an unrecognized resource for the LGBTQ community at Catholic University.

The leaders of CUAllies should be commended for their commitment to ensuring the safety of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. Catholic University’s rejection of CUAllies is irresponsible and disgraceful.

Universities must be open to all, and as the demographics of the student population change, so too must the resources and policies on campus. Catholic identity must, understandably, be affirmed at a Catholic institution – but it is also important to be sensitive to changing social dynamics. The two are not mutually exclusive.

Catholic University’s inflexible administration has only made the situation worse for CUAllies and the campus’ LGBTQ community. Not even new allegations of hate crimes and discrimination based on sexual orientation have compelled the Catholic University Office of Student Life and the Department of Public Safety to act, according to the press release. University officials claim that sanctioning an organization like CUAllies would conflict with Catholic moral teachings, and that a system – an abstract collection of disparate individuals and departments, according to CUAllies – is already in place as a support network.

While the Catholic Church has been slow to address the relationship between homosexuality and faith, Georgetown has, thankfully, taken a more reasonable route. By establishing an [LGBTQ Resource Center](http://www.thehoya.com/news/lgbtq-center-finds-leadership/) and recognizing [GU Pride, Georgetown’s main LGBTQ student group](http://www.thehoya.com/news/degioia-vows-lgbtq-reforms/), as a student organization, the university has gone where no Catholic university in the United States has gone before in addressing the needs of students, faculty and staff. Georgetown has acknowledged that the well-being of its community is vital to its mission, without fully distancing itself from the church – this is a step in the right direction, and one that should be replicated at Catholic University.

A careful balance has been struck at Georgetown between being proactive and avoiding the alienation of segments of the campus population. Homosexuality and faith are not mutually exclusive; in fact, the U.S. Conference of Bishops asserted that “all homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed” in its 1997 letter “Always Our Children.” At Georgetown, [Campus Ministry has a fruitful relationship with the LGBTQ Resource Center](http://www.thehoya.com/news/ministries-embrace-lgbtq-center-after-degioias-request/), and GU Pride holds regular events exploring the role of faith in relationships and sexual orientation.

Tensions between Catholic values and the concerns of the LGBTQ community are inevitable, but groups like GU Pride and CUAllies provide resources that a university bureaucracy cannot. CUAllies has proven popular in the Catholic University student body – about 40 students attend each meeting, according to CUAllies – and the group actively reports incidents of discrimination and hate crimes to the larger campus population.

Catholic students or student groups at Catholic University don’t need to feel intimidated, abandoned or belittled should the university recognize CUAllies. In fact, they should embrace the opportunity to discuss the Catholic perspective on sexuality; anyone, regardless of sexual orientation and identity, can contribute to a faith community.

[Georgetown took too long to accept the realities of campus life](http://www.thehoya.com/news/tests-of-tolerance-the-history-of-gus-lgbt-conflict/), but has become a beacon for compassion and understanding at Catholic universities. Catholic University should follow Georgetown’s lead and leave behind its hostility to its organized LGBTQ community.

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