Richard Williams, Notre Dame Sociology

Faculty/Staff Letter in Support of the LGBTQ Community at Notre Dame

In late April 2012, a group of Notre Dame faculty and staff drafted a letter in support of the LGBTQ Community at Notre Dame. The letter said, in part, "We value the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning members of our community exactly as we do all those who are part of the Notre Dame family. As faculty and staff, we affirm that our offices and classrooms will be safe and open spaces, where anti-LGBTQ discrimination, harassment, or violence will not be tolerated... We applaud the recent efforts of Notre Dame to create a more welcoming and safe environment for all. We encourage the University to continue its progress by joining with the City of South Bend, our sister college St. Mary's, and other Catholic colleges and institutions across the country to make the protection, recognition, and equal treatment of the LGBTQ members of our family an official part of University policy."

On Sept 25, 2012, the complete letter, then signed by 366 members of the Notre Dame Faculty and Staff, appeared in a full page paid ad in the campus newspaper:

Observer Full Page Ad, Sept 25, 2012 -- with 366 signatures

Entire Sept 25, 2012 Issue of the Observer -- see page 4 for the ad

It was suggested that it would be helpful to explain how the letter fits in with the Catholic mission of the University. The following brief note draws on sources such as the Catholic Catechism and statements by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to show how the sentiments and recommendations contained in the letter are consistent and harmonious with Catholic teachings and beliefs: Catholic justification for the faculty/staff LGBTQ letter

In this Point/Counterpoint from the Irish Rover, Richard Williams and Gerard Bradley debated whether or not Notre Dame should add sexual orientation to its non-discrimination policy.

Here is an Updated list of supporters

Related Notes: Stories about the letter have appeared in The South Bend Tribune (click here for another version with different reader comments) and the campus newspaper, The Observer. He wasn't talking specifically about the letter, but Father Hesburgh expressed his general support for LGBTQ rights at the 12:48 mark of this November 2011 interview.