The following article was taken from the Creightonian, the student newspaper for the University of Creighton. I am unsure if it made it to print, but the online version was taken down. I’m posting it for those interested in reading this letter recommending that all ticket giveaways to Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis be revoked by the administration due to Mackelmore and Ryan Lewis’ support of same-sex marriage rights.
To whom it may concern: As students at Creighton University, we are writing with concern for the moral standards and Catholic traditions at Creighton. On Monday, Creighton Student Union’s (CSU) Program Board announced that they will be granting vouchers for students to attend the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis concert on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Center. For those unaware, artists Macklemore (Ben Haggerty) and Ryan Lewis are leading the pop culture fight for gay marriage. The duo released the song, “Same Love,” an anthem calling for the legalization of gay marriage. The accompanying music video depicts two males in a same-sex relationship throughout their adolescence, adulthood and old age. The video ends with, “Support Marriage Equality, Approve REF 74.” Referendum 74 was a Washington state referendum defining marriage as “between two persons,” a change from previous wording of “between a man and a woman.” Haggerty takes partial credit for the eventual success of the referendum (it was passed in November 2012): “It made some people vote […]” (Salon, Dec. 6, 2012). All the profits from the sale of the song go to benefit the “fight for same sex marriage” (Q13 FOX News, Jul 30, 2012). Lewis himself recognizes “the power that a musician has to proactively use their craft to change culture” (OUT, May 8, 2013). The group’s attempts to influence the gay marriage debate are not limited to their lyrics. For example, this past April, Haggerty also “expanded on his gay marriage anthem” by filming a Nordstrom’s commercial in which gay and lesbian pairs celebrate alongside straight couples (OUT, May 8, 2013). The US Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) voiced in Between Man and Woman: Questions and Answers about Marriage and Same-Sex Unions the long-held truth that “marriage is a faithful, exclusive, lifelong union of a man and a woman joined in an intimate community of life and love,” and that “same-sex union contradicts the nature of marriage.” This does not sanction any disrespect or discrimination toward others; the Catechism of the Catholic Church insists that homosexual persons “be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity” (no. 2358). In the same publication, the USCCB goes on to say, Christians must give witness to the whole moral truth and oppose as immoral both homosexual acts and unjust discrimination against homosexual persons … There is to be no separation between one’s faith and life in either public or private realms. All Catholics should act on their beliefs with a well-formed conscience based on Sacred Scripture and Tradition. They should be a community of conscience within society. This is particularly urgent in light of the need to defend marriage and to oppose the legalization of same-sex unions as marriages. University backing of any kind for Haggerty and Lewis is in direct opposition with Catholic social teaching and Creighton’s stated values. Its own mission statement reads, in part, “Creighton is dedicated to the pursuit of truth in all its forms and is guided by the living tradition of the Catholic Church.” We understand not every act or performer that Creighton hires will be in absolute accordance with Catholic values, but when artists so deliberately and proactively advocate for a contrary position, they should not be publically supported. CSU’s actions indicate that Creighton endorses Haggerty and Lewis as well as their position on same-sex marriage. Creighton needs to take this opportunity to stand up for the Catholic beliefs on which it was established, or the university acts in contradiction. We pray that leadership on campus with the ability to change this event do so in order to remain consistent with the university’s tenets. We at Creighton pride ourselves on being a Catholic school with strong Catholic values, and we believe we are still that university. With concern for its integrity, we urge Creighton to resist popular practice and instead hold itself to the highest moral standards. Please continue Creighton’s tradition of excellence in this area; cancel the CSU Program Board vouchers for Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. - Ben Thompson & Christina Laubenthal, Class of 2016