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Amid strong protest from University of San Diego (USD) students, alumni and donors, the Catholic university is once again allowing a drag-show performance on its campus. The Supreme Drag Superstar 2 will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Shiley Theater, the campus' largest auditorium.
The drag show will be emceed by Manila Luzon, a professional drag queen and openly homosexual man who advocates same-sex "marriage."
Students opposing this year's cross-dressing drag show will hold a prayer vigil on campus at Plaza Menor on Thursday starting at 6:30 p.m. In addition, members of the Catholic community will protest at the main entrances to the Catholic university.
More than 4,000 USD supporters have signed a petition opposing the drag show; this figure has grown by over 1,000 signatures since Tuesday.
"This event affects all of us here on this campus," says Ailsa Tirado, a USD sophomore. "It misleads the participants, students, society and the body of Christ by telling us that cross-dressing and acting upon disordered sexual preference are in line with Catholic social teaching. That is not the truth."
The University of San Diego's decision to allow the PRIDE student group to host the Supreme Drag Superstar show on campus last year sharply divided students, donors and alumni.
"Unfortunately, by hosting ill-conceived events like this drag show, USD is betraying the vision of its founders and their Catholic values," says prominent attorney Charles LiMandri, a 1977 USD graduate. "Those alumni and donors who for many years supported the university because of those Catholic values are profoundly disappointed by this betrayal."
USD's vice president of student affairs, Carmen Vazquez, claims that the drag show is consistent with Catholic teachings. "The show as scheduled violates neither the university's mission nor any university policies. The celebration of gender expression supports the Church's teaching on the dignity of the human person and does not promote either behavior or lifestyle that is contrary to the teachings of the Church," she says.
Concerned USD students have issued a formal statement asking the university to cancel the drag show.
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