A Georgetown University student group that supports biblical marriage remains an officially sanctioned group on campus. The school's Student Activities Commission voted Thursday night against derecognizing and defunding Love Saxa. "Saxa" is Latin for "rocks."
Commissioners debated the status of the group for nearly two hours Thursday night and into early Friday morning, after a three-hour hearing on Monday ended with no vote.
LGBT student groups accused Love Saxa of going against the university's Student Organization Standards, which forbid student groups that "foster hatred or intolerance of others because of their race, nationality, gender, religion or sexual preference."
The president of Love Saxa, Amelia Irvine, said the commission's decision makes sense.
"The Student Activities Commission was right to continue to recognize us as a student organization in light of the fact that we hold views consistent with Georgetown's own Catholic identity," Irvine said in a statement.
"We hope that the outcome of this situation means that any and all other student groups at Georgetown which hold to beliefs consistent with Georgetown's founding values will likewise be protected from unwarranted demands that they be dissolved," she continued.
One of the students that filed a complaint against Love Saxa, Jasmin Ouseph, told the school newspaper, The Hoya, the commission's decision was somewhat surprising.
"I'm both unsurprised but also a little surprised, because the basis of our complaint was pretty firmly rooted in the organization's standards," Ouseph said.
Georgetown, located in Washington, D.C., is "the oldest Catholic and Jesuit institute of higher learning in the United States," according to its website.
Love Saxa holds Catholic and Jesuit views of marriage. However, it came under fire after Irvine wrote an editorial, "Confessions of a College Virgin," in The Hoya, in September.
Irvine referred to Love Saxa as "a group dedicated to healthy relationships and sexual integrity."
She went on to write, "Love Saxa's definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as we believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level – emotional, spiritual, physical and mental – directed toward caring for biological children."
"To us, marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults," she continued.
The Alliance Defending Freedom Center for Academic Freedom represented Love Saxa.
"A student organization at a Catholic university clearly should be able to hold to Christian views on marriage or any other issue without having its recognized status threatened," ADF Senior Counsel Tyson Langhofer said in a statement.
"We commend the Student Activities Commission for rejecting calls to derecognize Love Saxa for its views on marriage and the family, which are wholly consistent with the Catholic faith and Georgetown's own Catholic identity," he continued.
The commission's decision drew the attention of a U.S. Senator. Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., tweeted, "Good decision by @Georgetown Student Activities Commission. Academia should welcome diversity for ALL student groups."
— Sen. James Lankford (@SenatorLankford) November 3, 2017
The students who filed the complaint against Love Saxa say they plan to appeal the commission's recommendation, according to The Hoya.