Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

DC human-rights office hears complaint against Catholic U. for single-sex dorms

Catholic World News - September 16, 2011

Lawyers for the Catholic University of America (CUA) appeared on September 15 before the Office of Human Rights in Washington, DC, at a hearing on a charge that the school is engaging in illegal discrimination by offering only single-sex dormitories for undergraduates.

CUA President John Garvey announced in June that the school would no longer offer coed dormitory housing. Garvey said that evidence showed a higher rate of irresponsible conduct—notably including binge drinking—in coed dormitories. "I would have thought that young women would have a civilizing influence on young men," Garvey said in explaining the decision. "Yet the causal arrow seems to run the other way.”

The move drew a sex-discrimination complaint from John Banzhaf, a law professor at George Washington University who has brought literally hundreds of discrimination complaints.

In an editorial the Washington Examiner said that the Banzhaf complaint was an “outrageous and unwarranted interference with the internal affairs of a private university.” CUA defenders have pointed out that the school’s decision is not motivated by a desire to discriminate against any group of students, and the Examiner noted that even Gustavo Velasquez, the director of the Office of Human Rights, questioned whether undergraduate students could be said to have a legal “right” to coeducational dormitory housing.

Banzhaf, however, has vowed to pursue his complaint—and threatened to file suit against Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington as well. He offered the CUA undergraduate newspaper, The Tower, a remarkable perspective on single-sex living arrangements: “It’s the same as saying that since Muslims and Jews don’t get along we should force them to live apart.”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our July expenses ($34,059 to go):
$35,000.00 $941.00
97% 3%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 1 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Gaby - Sep. 16, 2011 8:20 PM ET USA

    Banzhaf's analogy is all wrong. The problem isn't that males and females don't get along with each other, but that they get along far too well!

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

A Baptist leader with a message the Synod of Bishops should hear June 30
'Helpful' advice for social conservatives: ignore causes, deal with effects June 30
In the Aftermath of Obergefell June 30
The political outlook after Obergefell June 29
Good news/bad news on the Vatican PR overhaul June 29

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope approves process for holding bishops accountable in abuse cases CWN - June 10
Pope Francis’ 2nd encyclical released (includes link to full text) CWN - June 18
US Supreme Court rules all states must recognize same-sex marriage CWN - June 26
Archbishop Nienstedt, auxiliary bishop resign CWN - June 15
Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal CWN - June 4