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Sunday, December 11, 2005

Update on GLBT Dance Cancellation

Today's Boston Globe reports that Boston College administrators hope to work out a compromise with BC's Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgendered Leadership Council after the University prevented the group from holding an AIDS benefit dance last week.

The decision to effectively cancel the event, which was originally titled "The GLC Diversity Ball: A Night in Gay Paris," caught the attention of many in the media, leading to a week of bad press for the University. Read coverage from the Boston Phoenix. The Heights also received a flurry of Letters to the Editor.

The story has also been widely covered in the blogosphere. "Good as You" offers alternative, less-gay sounding event titles, such as "A Fully Clothed Afternoon Spent Watching Sports in Gay Paris," and "A Night in Paris Hilton To Prove I'm Not Gay." The move even rallied a group of Boston College alums to start their own blog, BC Alum Aflame.

Meanwhile, 300 Boston College students gathered in the Dustbowl (the main campus green) on Friday afternoon to both protest the administration's discrimination and rally together in support of equal rights for members of the GLBT community. The students gathered despite five inches of snow in a support of solidarity reminiscent of April's Rally for Equality, during which 1,500 members of the BC community marched for inclusion of sexual orientation in the University's non-discrimination clause.

According to The Heights, supporters have also donated to the Boston Living Center (website), an HIV/AIDS community and resource center, which was the original planned beneficiary of the cancelled dance.

UPDATE: According to a recent report from 365Gay.com, Boston College administrators have cited (1) an impending billion dollar fundraising drive in which BC plans to seek the support of "older, more conservative alumni," and (2) the upcoming merger with the Weston School of Theology which will require Vatican approval, as reasons for the event's cancellation.
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Comments on "Update on GLBT Dance Cancellation"


Blogger Mark said ... (12/12/2005 12:58:00 PM) : 

A few observations:

* Interesting that the Globe update was penned by a Heights editor. Working from the same page on the issue?

* It has often occurred to me that the people pushing the "BC is anti-gay" theme are unfamiliar with the Jesuits, an order that could not be described as being unfriendly to homosexuals. Perhaps the critics do not appreciate the challenges presented when a Catholic college that is liberal in bent and home to a significant population of barely-closeted gay priests chooses to buck the Vatican.

At any rate, it strikes me that to call BC "gay unfriendly" is a canard, and that critics of the school on this front should appreciate that a certain subtlety is required of Jesuit administrators in walking the fine line they've chosen.


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