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Online petition aims to stop LGBT event at Catholic university in Wisconsin

Posted at 1:16 AM, Apr 08, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- An organization claims Catholic values are being threatened over a "Pride Prom" at Marquette University.

An online petition has thousands of signatures to stop an LGBT event slated to take place Saturday at the university.

University leaders say despite the opposition, the event will go on as planned.

Marquette graduate Cameron Sanchez says at first, he didn't take the petition seriously.

"But then I went online and saw it had 18,000 signatures," he said.

The petition is hosted on a website called "The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property," also known as TFP.

John Ritchie, TFP Student Action Director did not consent to an on-camera interview, but sent a statement though email. Ritchie said that promoting Pride Prom, " like promoting drugs for those who suffer from a drug addiction."

"They're hurtful, but they're not Marquette. I mean Marquette's motto is 'Be The Difference,'" Sanchez said.

"(In) none of my theology classes did they teach anything that wasn't accepting and love. and so I think it was disappointing to see," said Paige Gardner, a Marquette University Alumnus.

Sanchez and Gardner recently set up a fundraiser called "Black out Hate" at bars near Cathedral Square.

"We treated this organization as an inspiration and not as our opposition," said Sanchez.

More than $2,200 was raised for the Cream City Foundation, which provides resources for Milwaukee's LGBT community.

"It was kind of exciting to see people hear other people's stories and interact with people they may not have," said Gardner.

Ritchie with TFP claims "Many Marquette students and alumni have signed the petition," and, " far, the university has not answered our concerns."

Marquette University leaders sent us a statement that reads in part, "We support our LGBT community..." and, "...we also take seriously The Catechism of the Catholic Church's note that people should not rush to "rash judgment" of their neighbor.""