Georgetown University, the oldest Catholic academic institution in America, has approved residential housing for students interested in examining gender identity and sexual orientation.
An LGBT-centric "Living Learning Community" (LLC) was initially rejected last April, before the Office of Residential Living gave it the green light last mnoth. Called “Crossroads: Gender and Sexuality,” it's intended to foster inclusivity while remaining true to Georgetown’s Jesuit origins.
“Our Catholic and Jesuit values call on us to engage with ‘respect, compassion, and sensitivity’ with our LGBTQ community," Todd Olson, vice president of student affairs, told The Hoya. "It is in keeping with our Catholic and Jesuit values to provide a language, perspective, and sense of inclusion for deepening our sense of cura personalis,” he added, referring to the Latin phrase meaning "care for the entire person."
Slated to open in the 2018-2019 academic year, Crossroads was proposed by Georgetown senior Grace Smith. On Facebook, Smith called its approval "a really big deal."
“Students will now begin to have a unique residential space dedicated to exploring and understanding themselves and others in relation to gender and sexuality,” she added. “Congratulations to everyone who made this dream a reality.”
This is believed to be the first LGBT residence at an American Catholic institution. Other Georgetown LLCs focus on social justice, wellness, entrepreneurship, and foreign language.
While Crossroads' exact location and size has yet to be determined, religious activists are already on the attack: The extremist Catholic blog Church Militant claimed the dorm is yet more proof Georgetown "is continuing to flaunt Catholic Church teaching on human sexuality."
"The Jesuits... are well known for their dissent from Church teaching on just about everything while claiming to be Catholic," the site added. "Father James Martin, one of the most prominent Jesuits in the United States, has been an ardent advocate of sodomy and so-called same-sex marriage, telling homosexuals that God 'made them that way.'"