Georgetown votes against defunding traditional marriage group

LGBT student groups had filed a formal complaint alleging that Love Saxa should not be eligible for recognition or funding because its views "foster hatred or intolerance of others."

Love Saxa, a Georgetown University student group that supports traditional marriage, has survived an effort to eliminate its funding following an 8-4 vote by the Student Activities Commission.

The Georgetown University Student Activities Commission voted 8-4 Thursday night against defunding Love Saxa, a student group that supports traditional marriage.

Following a hearing Monday that ended with no vote after three hours of deliberation, commissioners deliberated in a private executive session for almost two hours Thursday night regarding formal complaints filed by LGBT student groups accusing Love Saxa of violating Georgetown’s Student Organization Standards.

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Jasmin Ouseph, co-chair of the Racial and Cultural Inclusivity policy team, and Chad Gasman, the president of GU Pride, submitted a formal notice to the university in October asserting that Love Saxa’s definition of marriage fosters hatred and intolerance.

The rule in question states that “groups will not be eligible for access to benefits if their purpose or activities…foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their race, nationality, gender, religion, or sexual preferences.”

Gasman argued that “when they deny certain individuals who are queer access to this ideal standard of a relationship, they immediately say that all queer relationships are not as valid as heterosexual relationships.”

Love Saxa’s mission is to to “increase awareness of the benefits of sexual integrity, healthy dating relationships, and the primacy of marriage (understood as a monogamous and permanent union between a man and a woman) as a central pillar of society.”

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Amelia Irvine, president of Love Saxa, told The Hoya that the group views marriage as “a conjugal union on every level—emotional, spiritual, physical and mental—directed toward caring for biological children,” adding that, “marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults.”

“I’m both unsurprised but also a little surprised [about the decision], because the basis of our complaint was pretty firmly rooted in the organization’s standards,” Ouseph told The Hoya following Thursday’s vote.

Irvine, meanwhile, said that while she was satisfied with the outcome, she would have preferred that the dispute had been handled without involving the university.

“This was not our chosen path of reconciliation. We would rather have worked this out between students rather than have this dramatic political event where there had to be a winner and a loser,” Irvine explained. “I hope we can come together in a productive dialogue where we can recognize each other’s humanity.”

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The decision is not binding, however, as it only constitutes a recommendation to the university’s director of student engagement, Amanda Carlton, who is free to accept, reject, or amend it.

Ouseph and Gasman said they plan to appeal the decision, which can be done by either party within two business days. Carlton’s eventual decision can also be appealed to Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @KylePerisic