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viewpoint

ND LGBT alumni express sadness over commencement speaker

| Monday, March 6, 2017

Editor’s note: The following letter was sent to University President Fr. John Jenkins on March 2 following the University’s announcement of Vice President Mike Pence as the 2017 Commencement speaker.
Fr. John Jenkins,
On behalf of the LGBT alumni of the University of Notre Dame, we wish to express our deepest sadness with your choice of speaker for the 2017 Commencement ceremonies. 
For many years, Vice President Pence, as Governor of the state of Indiana, has demonstrated his intense opposition to the LGBT community. He has advocated and voted repeatedly to restrict and/or to remove rights of LGBT individuals. He has expressed views that are totally without merit such as “being gay is a choice,” that allowing gays in the military is a “social experiment,” that gays can be “converted” into being straight and most recently approved legislation to allow discrimination based on religious beliefs.
While Vice President Pence might be the “lesser of two evils,” and Notre Dame was “caught between a rock and a hard place” by inviting President Trump, we do not support this selection for Commencement speaker.
In the end, he does not stand for the values that Our Lady has taught us of respect, diversity and inclusion for all humans.
Jack Bergen
class of 1977
GALA ND/SMC chair
March 2

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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