Chicago's Loyoloa University changes guidelines for wedding ceremonies on campus
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Loyola University Chicago changed its guidelines for wedding ceremonies on campus, adopting an official policy ahead of Illinois' equal-marriage law on June 1. The new policy, enacted last December, only allows Catholic weddings in the university's Madonna della Strada Chapel. All other civil or religious weddings, including same-sex unions, are banned from campus facilities.It is unclear why civil marriage ceremonies were ever allowed in the chapel in the first place.
The decision also comes after a Loyola student launched a Change.org petition last September, urging university administrators to allow same-sex ceremonies on campus. Christine Irvine, a Loyola junior studying visual communication, started the petition after officials denied her request to use university facilities for her upcoming wedding.
Irvine said there were no problems until officials learned she would marry a woman. To date, the petition has more than 2,900 signatures. In her first interview about Loyola's new policy, Irvine told Windy City Times that the decision doesn't seem bad to anyone who may not know how it came about. She believes the university made the decision to specifically forbid same-sex ceremonies on campus. "It's really disheartening," Irvine said. "It's a sign of the non-acceptance and non-tolerance of the LGBT students on campus ... a sign of disrespect of our love compared to our peers." Before Loyola enacted its official policy last December, the university's standard practice welcomed ceremonies "legally recognized" in Illinois. But despite legal recognition of same-sex civil unions in Illinois, those ceremonies were still forbidden at Loyola venues.