Almost every time I speak on a college campus, a field representative from The Leadership Institute is listening in the audience. That’s always good because, after the speech, the representative usually shares great ideas for campus conservative activism. Recently, in Athens, Ohio, I heard an especially good idea that will drive liberal administrators – former hippies who stopped supporting campus protest shortly after becoming administrators – absolutely crazy. That idea is called “Marry Anything Day.”
The idea behind “Marry Anything Day” is to bring an ordained minister to campus to perform marriage ceremonies. But the ceremonies are not limited to unions between a man and a woman, or even a man and a man, for that matter. On “Marry Anything Day” you can choose your own definition of marriage based upon the most important of all legal doctrines; your personal feelings. (For further elaboration see the opinions of Justice Anthony Kennedy).
For liberal administrators who never really considered the implications of changing the definition of marriage – because they suffer from a fear of campus gay activists, which they say is outside the normal definition of homophobia – this should be a long overdue wake-up call.
Imagine the reaction of administrators when they see the minister performing a ceremony between a man and several women, or a woman and her cat. Of course, the ceremonies will not be restricted to living entities because that would discriminate against someone who really loves his favorite lamp.
By the end of the day, some administrators will be sorry they ever supported the student protest movement. And some, wondering whether they are having a flashback, will be sorry they dropped acid in graduate school.
The idea is great but, of course, it must be tried in the proper venue. Today, I propose that a “Marry Anything Day” should take place on the campus of Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Duquesne University has a policy prohibiting “Harassment or discrimination based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or citizenship status, age, disability, or veteran status.”
Under that policy, Duquesne student Ryan Minor was recently punished by the university - for allegedly referring to homosexuals as “subhuman” - at the insistence of four “offended” students. But Minor insists that he was referring to homosexual acts, not homosexuals themselves, as “subhuman.” He also says that his motivation for writing the remarks was a proposed Gay Straight Alliance at Duquesne, which is, of course, a Catholic school.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of Minor’s case is that the controversial reference was made on the 0ff-campus website www.facebook.com. Minor’s punishment for this off-campus expression of opinion included removing the offensive material from the site and writing a ten-page essay regarding the Catholic Church’s “official teaching related to the dignity and respect to be shown for all human beings.”
In his defense, Minor has referred to the Catholic Catechism, which, in turn, refers to homosexual acts as “acts of grave depravity,” which are “intrinsically disordered,” and “contrary to natural law.”
Nonetheless, President Dougherty has convened a “special committee” to examine the issue of bringing the Gay Straight Alliance to Duquesne. Father Tim Hickey is leading the committee examining the issue, which the university refers to on its website as “complex” and “sensitive.”
Regardless of what Father Hickey finds, I would urge Catholics to follow the advice of the late Pope John Paul II who urged Catholics not to be afraid to publicly defend traditional family values in modern society.
By holding my proposed gay marriage protest at Duquesne, students, faculty, and staff have a chance to force administrators to make an important choice between two alternatives. Will they 1) bow down and worship the Gods of Diversity, or 2) grant their Catholic students the same freedoms of religious expression they would experience outside the walls of a Catholic university.
If “Marry Anything Day” is a success, officials at Duquesne University should next be forced to write an essay. In no less than ten pages, they should discuss the dignity and respect to be shown to all orthodox Catholics.