MUSG passes LGBTQ amendment

Tensions were high at the Marquette Student Government meeting Thursday as senators debated legislation about the social stigmatization of the LGBTQ community on campus.

A resolution opposing discrimination of the LGBTQ community was approved unanimously, but more than an hour of debate centered on a proposed amendment related to Catholic teaching on homosexuality.

Senator Bill Doerrer said he is glad the issue is receiving attention in the form of a resolution.

“I think it’s time that MUSG displays a message to coincide with its actions. This is a good first step in the right direction that will open the door so we can see where we can go with it,” said Doerrer, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences.

Senator Adam Ryback proposed an amendment to add to the resolution this statement: “Espousal of traditional Christian or specifically Catholic teaching on homosexuality, shall not, if done respectfully and in the appropriate context, be considered a ‘prejudicial attack’ or an expression of ‘prejudice.’”

Ryback, a sophomore in the College of Arts & Sciences, said support of the Catholic teaching might be considered an attack and MUSG cannot deny the fact that Marquette is a Catholic, Jesuit university. He said leaving the amendment out would leave room for ambiguity.

“This amendment was created solely for clarification of the Catholic teaching,” Ryback said.

Senator Giuseppe Pappalardo said with a student population of 60 percent Catholic and 40 percent non-Catholic at Marquette, it is just as possible that non-Catholic students subject people to intentional and unintentional prejudicial attacks as it is that Catholic students might.

“We’re not saying everyone agrees with this (legislation),” said Pappalardo, a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. “We’re saying 51.1 percent of the Marquette community agrees with this. Nowhere in this legislation are we taking a hit on the Catholic Church or on anybody’s views. I think this amendment would hurt the legislation.”

The motion to add the phrase amendment failed 23-4 and the motion to approve the resolution passed unanimously 27-0.