I appreciate the curiosity of the “inquiring alumnus” who wants to know why the president of America’s oldest Catholic university might consider funding a center for gay students (“DeGioia’s Choice Ignores Health Risks,” THE HOYA, Nov. 13, 2007, A2), though I fear his curiosity is merely a rhetorical exercise. You see, despite his laundry list of statistics, he fails to state why, exactly, a center for gay students would possibly place the health of Georgetown students in jeopardy. The only explanation I can imagine, though I shudder to think that a Georgetown alumnus might be wedded to this, is the notion that simply having a place to discuss gay issues would lead to more people being gay. Given Mr. Harvey’s appreciation for scientific research, perhaps he would be interested in knowing that sexual orientation appears to be as much a matter of genetics as anything – nobody is going to be turned gay because Georgetown has a resource center for the LGBTQ community.

What will happen, however, is an opportunity for Georgetown to do its part to combat those very statistics that Mr. Harvey puts forth. The stigma unfairly attached to homosexuality by people like r. Harvey leads directly to depression and suicide among gay people, while at the same time making it more difficult to engage in the necessary outreach and health education that could help gay people understand the unique risks they face and take appropriate action to mitigate them. If Georgetown truly follows “cura personalis,” it cannot afford to turn its collective back on a segment of society that merits and deserves as much respect as any other. Alas, I fear that this center comes far too late where r. Harvey is concerned.

Joshua Kwicinski (SFS ’06)

Nov. 13, 2007

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