Notre Dame, Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Theory

.@NotreDame accelerates its pro-LGBTQ pace, increasing enrollment of LGBTQ students, embracing gender ideology on campus, and promoting Pride Month through the Alumni Association #GoCatholicND Click To Tweet

In this bulletin, we relate how the University and its Alumni Association (NDAA) continue to undermine Church teaching on sex, marriage, and gender, this time through celebration of Pride Month, the promotion of the Alumni Rainbow Community of Notre Dame (ARCND), the University’s recognition of gender theory, and its quest for more LGBTQ students.

Here’s what’s happened:

Pride Month

Pride Month is dedicated to the full LGBT agenda, particularly same-sex marriage. As Human Rights Watch declared:

Marriage equality remains an issue at the forefront of Pride.

Indeed, at Notre Dame Professor Joel Mittleman (Sociology, Gender Studies) called attention to Pride Month because he saw a threat to same-sex marriage: 

When even foundational rights like marriage equality appear newly uncertain, this year’s Pride is a time not only to celebrate, but to organize.

That was why we criticized the university’s celebration of Pride Month last year. So we were pleased to see the university let this year’s June Pride Month pass in silence.

Until we discovered the NDAA had taken over. 

The NDAA opened June with a Facebook invitation “to join ARCND to celebrate” Pride Month, and our limited search showed that alumni clubs in Boston, El Paso, Quad Cities, San Diego, Washington, D.C., and New York did just that, with the New York Club’s Facebook site featuring a rainbow-colored Empire State Building superimposed over a silhouette of the Golden Dome.

The Boston club in particular went all out with invitations to alumni to eyebrow-raising events sponsored by others — “Love Conquers All Drag Show” and “Drag Bingo” – and its own “Pride Night at Fenway Park.”

Alienation of Alumni

At the same time, since ARCND was bound to divide, we weren’t surprised to find that many clubs, perhaps most for all we know, ignored the NDAA. 

One club president wrote us:

I was particularly upset when I received my LGBTQ+ Tool Kit from Notre Dame, which encouraged me to celebrate Pride Month and spread the LGBTQ+ queer message throughout my Club community.

I tolerate and love ALL of God’s children, regardless of their personal choices, but I will not use my position as [a club president] to celebrate, promote, and encourage deviant behavior. If that becomes a requirement of Club Presidents, I will submit my resignation the same day.”

At least one club has already suffered major disruption. We have confirmed that, due to resignations over ARCND, the Oklahoma City club is left with no officers and only three board members. Its Facebook site does not record any activity after an April, 2001 announcement of the formation of ARCND. 

NDAA, ARCND, and Same-Sex “Marriage” 

We have previously recounted:

  • How NDAA collaborated with the unofficial Gay & Lesbian Alumni Club of Notre Dame (GALA) to establish ARCND;
  • How GALA has repeatedly evidenced its hostility to Church teaching on sex, marriage, and gender;
  • How NDAA appointed appointed the same-sex married president of GALA as the chair of ARC ND; and 
  • How half of the ARCND leadership team is in same-sex marriages.

We have now examined the entire membership of ARCND and find what one would expect, namely, that its marriage model is same-sex marriage. While most of the 503 alumni members don’t disclose marital status,109 (22%) report same-sex marriages. 

More, a recent NDAA video continues its practice of publicizing same-sex married alumni under a “We Are Notre Dame” banner — but this time with an interesting twist. 

The new video opens with an image showing a rainbow superimposed on the Dome and Basilica; it continues with ARCND endorsements by three persons with the familiar refrain, “We are Notre Dame”; and it closes with the exhortation “Pride Month is Over But Our Work is Just Beginning.”

But this time NDAA didn’t identify their spokespersons, so we investigated and identified two of them as Paul Burke, the chair of ARCND, and Jennifer Grubb, a board member. 

Both are in same sex marriages.

NDAA did not question our finding, nor did it respond to our request to identify the third spokesperson.

Affirmative Action LGBT Admissions

In an illuminating Irish Rover article about the school’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion program, Joe DeReuil, the new Rover editor-in-chief, reported what admissions officer Don Bishop had to say about how the program impacts admissions.

Bishop explained that initially “diversity was only meant to be race and ethnicity, then it was broadened to include “socio-economic,” and now “it’s included additional cultural orientation, which may include but not be limited to LGBTQ.

[T]hose are probably the biggest right now: race, ethnicity, socio-economic, LGBTQ, and Gender.

That is to say, the drive now is to attract to Notre Dame more students from a cohort the vast majority of whom are hostile to Church teaching. 

And it seems to be working. Bill Dempsey wrote information officer Dennis Brown that we had been told “more LGBT students were admitted [last year] than at any time in the past” and asked him to tell us if that was incorrect. “If I have it right,” Bill concluded, “of course you need not reply.”

He did not. 

Finally, in a related action Notre Dame assumed management of GALA’s scholarship program for “qualifying LGBTQ+ students.”

LGBT Recruitment Case Study

This “affirmative action” LGBT program presumably accounts for the appointment as “Recruitment Representative” of graduate students like Lau Ortiz-Mercado (whose preferred pronoun is “they”).

Describing Ortiz-Mercado as “a passionate activist and social rights advocate,” the English Department reported:

[T]hey participate in several organizations that seek to bring visibility to the challenges faced by members from marginalized and underrepresented sectors, including latinx and BIPOC [Black, Indigenous, and people of color] students, and members of the LGBTTQIA+ community.

(Note: The second “t” could mean “two-spirit” or takatāpui, a term that can “also refer to an individual who is SOGIE diverse.”)

“Passionate” is perhaps too conservative an adjective for “their” rancorous tweet,

If you celebrate #pride but don’t support the current riots for @BlackLivesMatter let me tell you you’re a hypocrite.”

We have learned from a Culver Academies parent that, having completed graduate work at Notre Dame, Dr. Ortiz-Mercado has just become an Academic and College Advisor at Culver Academies at this prominent Indiana secondary school. In introducing “them” to the Culver community, the school told of “their” LCBTTQIA, BIPOC and Latinx activism and underscored “their” Notre Dame credentials.

Dr. Lau Ortiz-Mercado is joining Culver Academies…after having spent the last five years as a Graduate School Representative and Recruiter for the University of Notre Dame.

Having represented Notre Dame to prospective students as a Recruitment Representative, Dr. Ortiz-Mercado is now the face of Notre Dame to students and parents at Culver.

Gender Switch at Notre Dame

The Church teaches that a person’s sex and gender are one and unchangeable from birth. Pope Francis has denounced it as a “great falsehood” and “a great enemy of marriage.” And the Congregation for Catholic Education has warned that it has caused an “educational crisis.”

As Pope Benedict XVI declared:

The profound falsehood of this theory and of the anthropological revolution contained within it is obvious.

But this “profound falsehood” seems no longer obvious to Notre Dame. Rather, the contrary. A “New Student Requirement Form” asks:

What sex were you assigned at birth on your original birth certificate?

What is your current gender identity? (Male; Female; Transgender/Male/Transgender man/Female to Male (FTM); Transgender Female/Transgender Woman/ Male to Female (MTF); Genderqueer – neither exclusively male nor female; Other; Choose not to disclose.)

Preferred Pronouns.

Thus does the university confirm these young men and women in their grievous error.

Board of Trustees

In June of last year, a Board of Trustees task force issued a Report on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion that is important here for two reasons:

First, it provides no warrant for either the admission of more of LGBT students or an LGBT alumni group. The focus is exclusively on improving representation of “Black, Hispanic/ Latino, Asian, and Native American members of this community.” 

Second, the Task Force recommended “ongoing Board oversight of these critical initiatives.”

Accordingly, we will provide the Board with our Open Letter to Dolly Duffy and our related reports about how the administration’s and NDAA’s actions are undermining Notre Dame’s Catholic mission and character.

Open Letter to Dolly Duffy

These developments underscore the gravity of our Open Letter requesting Dolly Duffy to explain NDAA’s actions. We urge all who have not joined the letter to do so now.



The Church teaches that, while persons with a homosexual orientation “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” and while “every sign of unjust discrimination “ must be avoided, homosexual acts are “acts of grave depravity” that are “intrinsically disordered,” “contrary to the natural law,” and “under no circumstances [to] be approved.” 

This proscription, once widely shared, has become more and more unpopular over a remarkably short period of time. Colleges and universities have led the way, scorning traditional Christian values as odious and branding hateful those who express them. In these circumstances, it is deeply disappointing – if, sadly, unsurprising — to see the Jenkins administration act as if this constitutive Church teaching does not exist instead of standing fast with the Church against the tides of the times.

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13 Responses to “Notre Dame, Same-Sex Marriage and Gender Theory”

  1. Jim Shapiro '52 November 4, 2022 at 3:54 pm

    The pope has asked, who is he is to judge gay people but this group certainly feels qualified to judge. Perhaps you should lobby the administration to admit only individuals that do not sin even by using birth control measures or by supporting Roe. “A university of perfect Catholics.” Or, you could concentrate your energy to support your favorite Trump, who is directly responsible for the death of thousands because he refused to alert the country to the the seriousness of Coved 19 as he has admitted on tape in Bob Woodward’s interview. And, which is a crime in addition to his attempted coup.
    Jim Shapiro ’52

  2. “It is not possible to have Sacramental Communion without Ecclesial Communion”, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost; It Is “ Through Christ, With Christ, And In Christ, In The Unity Of The Holy Ghost”, that Holy Mother Church, outside of which, there is no Salvation, due to The Unity Of The Holy Ghost, exists.

  3. One needs to decide whether it is more important to adhere to secular moral fashion or to Catholic teaching. The average Catholic is fully capable of supporting members of the LGBTQ community in bearing their cross as a brother or sister in Christ but uphold the teaching of our Catholic faith. The University would seem to be embracing the secular view over the Church, given they rarely voice Church teaching on these matters. They need to decide whether they are a Catholic university or a secular university with the trappings of the Catholic faith. It is sad, indeed.

  4. In order to have a “Gender Studies” Program such as the one described above, you would have to exclude The Word Of God here:,

    Which changes The Word Of God from Genesis, The Beginning.
    We cannot transform The Word Of God Made Flesh, Christ transforms us, Through Salvational Love, God’s Gift Of Grace And Mercy.

    Why would and Baptized Catholic desire to change The Word Of God?

    “Come Holy Ghost.”

  5. This is not the university I attended. They are not Notre Dame.

  6. I speak to students in Catholic schools all over the country. In the last three years one of leading issues facing administrators in Middle schools is gender ideology.
    God created us Male and Female!
    Mike McCoy

  7. It’s not well-established. There are many leaders such as Dr. Paul McHugh, former chief of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins, who assert otherwise. Psychologists Dr. Gerard Van den Aardweg wrote a book after 30 years of study and experience about contributing factors such as peer rejection; also Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons discusses how other early experiences of belonging are contributing factors. Where are the leading psychologists at Notre Dame who are able to fairly present the decades of such work and analysis? That Notre Dame is contributing to cementing the confusion and turmoil these young people experience is sickening.

  8. The university seems to be making it clear they are not remotely interested in fidelity to Catholic teaching. Maybe the time is upon us for concerned alumni to formally organize.

  9. Mark McGowan ‘71 August 25, 2022 at 4:34 pm

    The “tides of the times” have caused Church teaching to change throughout her history based on reason and experience. What has not changed is the power of love and acceptance. It is now well established in the scientific and medical communities that people don’t choose their sexual orientation or identity anymore than they choose their race or gender. As one of our well-known alumnus has publicly stated in response to LGBTQ pushback: “your quarrel, sir, is with your creator“.

    • Although we do not choose all of our relationships, we do have the ability to choose how we are going to behave in those relationships.
      Love is ordered to the inherent personal and relational Dignity of the persons existing in a relationship of Love. Any act, including any sexual act, that does not respect the inherent Dignity of a beloved son or daughter, brother or sister, husband or wife, father or mother, is not and can never be an act of authentic Life-affirming and Life-sustaining Love.
      Love is not possessive, nor is it coercive, nor does it serve to manipulate for the sake of self gratification; Love desire only that which is Good for oneself and one’s beloved.
      The desire to engage in a demeaning act of any nature, does not change the nature of the demeaning act.
      The engaging in or affirmation of demeaning acts of any nature, that deny the inherent equal Dignity of a beloved son or daughter are the result of a failure to Love.
      One should never deny the value of a a Loving friendship which serves only for the Good of each other and is thus devoid of every form of lust.

  10. Dr. William Delaney August 25, 2022 at 3:01 pm


    You know how strongly I support your efforts and I can only imagine how disappointed these recent moves at ND make you feel. Thank you for all you do.

    Bill Delaney

  11. I am continuing to have both concerns and worry about Notre Dame losing its identity as a major Catholic University. The same question keeps coming up, how can Notre Dame be Catholic and not follow the teachings of the church?

  12. Have you people lost your minds?

Comments & Questions