The Corner


The Latest Campus Craziness — At Loyola Marymount, Biology Is a ‘Hate Crime’

At Loyola Marymount University — a Catholic college, by the way — the Bias Incident Reponse Team has been mobilized to investigate an alleged “hate crime.” The offense? Defending Catholic doctrine of human sexuality and (gasp!) believing that there are but two genders. Here are the allegations, first from the student newspaper: 

Senior biology major Catalina Ibarra and senior business majors Kaii Blanton and Cosette Carleo noticed that signs put up for Rainbow Week, or LGBTQ+ Awareness Week, by LGBT Student Services (LGBTSS) had been removed and placed behind a garbage can, according to Carleo.

As Blaton, Carleo and Ibarra attempted to replace the signs, an employee from the Alumni Relations office, whose name has not yet been made available to the public, allegedly approached the students about LGBTQ+ issues and voiced opinions on differing sexualities, expressing that anti-LGBTQ+ signs should be put up in place of the students’ signs. The employee also referred to one of the students as a man, even though that student had informed the employee that they identify as gender neutral, according to Carleo.

The school even contacted the Los Angeles Police Department:

The Bias Incident Response Team (BIRT) met and released a statement on April 15, notifying the LMU community that BIRT, along with Public Safety and the Los Angeles Police Department, is looking into the events of April 14 as reported by the three students. BIRT also clarified that the investigation will continue as two separate incidents, the first being the removal of the LGBT signs and the second being the employee and students’ confrontation.

And here’s the statement from the school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance. I’m posting it in its entirety – it has to be seen to be believed.

In an interview with the College Fix, one of the offended students said that the “hate crime” under investigation was “denying transgenderism.”  

The suspended administrator disputes these accounts, claiming (through an email from her husband) that the conversation was entirely respectful and civil and that the girls involved even said they “appreciated the dialogue” – before scampering off to school authorities.

There is no need to resolve the factual dispute, however. Even if you take everything the LGBT students said at face value, claims of a “hate crime” are pure garbage. There is no evidence that the administrator removed the signs. She is only accused of stating biological facts and personal opinions. It is not criminal to state biological facts about gender. It is not criminal to state orthodox church beliefs about sexuality. It is not criminal to do so passionately, angrily, or at a loud volume. The very fact that the school’s Bias Incident Response Team reached out to the Los Angeles Police Department is a pathetic joke. 

But if you want to see the full extent of the angry entitlement, you have to keep reading the rest of the Gender Sexuality Alliance press statement. There are no claims of actual violence. Moreover, one of the two incidents that allegedly prove that the school is “unsafe” for LGBT students is the claim that a theology professor (again, at a Catholic school) made “derogatory” comments about Caitlyn Jenner yet wasn’t fired. How dare a university allow a professor to state an opinion and still keep his job.

Loyola is a private university, and if it wants to censor its employees and enforce radical LGBT orthodoxy, then it is free to do so (assuming, however, it doesn’t violate its own policy statements or otherwise-applicable laws), but it can’t redefine “hate crime,” and it certainly can’t trigger actual criminal prosecutions for the expression of opinion. 

Or perhaps I’ve spoken too soon. This is California, after all, and if there is any jurisdiction that would try to prosecute a Catholic for being Catholic, Los Angeles is the place. 

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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