The University of Notre Dame employed the police to order a group of traditional marriage advocates off its campus late last week. Volunteers with the Tradition Family Property Student Action were given permission by an official campus student group to set up a table, according to TFP director John Ritchie. The police arrived shortly after the group began handing out pro-family literature and told them to “cease and desist.”
On its website TFP Student Action claimed:
The TFP handout, 10 Reasons Why Same-Sex “Marriage” is Harmful and Must Be Opposed, was being warmly received by students and faculty members alike. However, several pro-homosexual students ripped up the flier, shouted obscenities, and expressed their desire to deprive the pro-true marriage volunteers of their right to free speech.
“I’m still trying to fully understand why the event was shut down,” said Ritchie. “I was hoping to find a more supportive environment for the Catholic position on marriage. But instead, Notre Dame police officers told us that we only had proper permission to have a table – but that nobody was allowed to actually man the table, which was the whole point of having a table in the first place. How can a table man itself? So we were forced to leave.”
Notre Dame is a Catholic University. Marriage, according to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is a way “by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life...ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring.”
Not only does the Church state the union as being between “a man and a woman,” it also says it is ordered toward procreation. Obviously, childbirth is naturally non-existent in a homosexual union.
According to University of Notre Dame spokesman Dennis Brown the school’s action were merely in compliance to policies and had nothing to do with the content:
"We've done exactly the same thing, including arrests, with outside groups that have attempted to come on campus to make statements that run the gamut of the ideological and political spectrum. We welcome the free expression of ideas on our campus, but it needs to be done in accord with our policies."
It is curious, however, that the group actually claimed to have been removed twice. The first time police asked them to leave because their permission to be on campus “was not official enough," Ritchie told the Christian Post. Notre Dame's Student Activities Office then apologized for the "misunderstanding" and told them to set up their tables the next day:
"This time, a round of emails had been sent around, advising Notre Dame police officials that we would be returning in the morning. Everything seemed OK. I even called the campus police department before setting up and was assured that it would be 'absolutely' fine," said Ritchie.
"But apparently it wasn't fine. Because the table was shut down again. This time, the police said the table had approval, but not the people with the table."
Perhaps this is merely a dramatized occasion of poor communication between the University and TFP. The recent controversy at Stanford, however, revealed that in the present-day even traditional marriage groups are hardly safe from college and university controversy.
*This post has been updated to clarify that the referenced school is the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana.