Over 17,000 people have signed onto a petition protesting a Wisconsin Catholic University's decision to hold an LGBT "Pride Prom."
The LGBT Resource Center of the Milwaukee-based Marquette University recently announced that it will be holding the campus' first-ever Pride Prom in the spring.
"Save the Date! We are excited to announce PRIDE PROM 2018 for the first time at Marquette in the AMU Ballrooms on April 14, 2018. This will be an all-ages, family-friendly event and open to the public," the Resource Center said.
The conservative Catholic organization Tradition Family Property launched a petition last week protesting the event that as of Thursday morning has gotten more than 17,000 signatories.
The petition is addressed to Marquette University President Michael Lovell and calls on him to cancel the event, appealing to the academic institution's Catholic identity.
"'PRIDE PROM' is scheduled in Alumni Memorial Union, the same building that houses the Chapel of the Holy Family, where Our Lord in Holy Eucharist is present," reads the petition.
"The Catechism of the Catholic Church is clear: Homosexual vice is 'intrinsically disordered' and 'contrary to natural law' (2357). Therefore, no Catholic campus should sponsor a dance that legitimizes unnatural behavior which deeply offends God."
TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie said in a statement released Tuesday that the Pride Prom event is "morally unacceptable."
"No Catholic campus should ever sponsor a formal dance party for same-sex couples or act to legitimize lifestyles that deeply offend God and harm the moral fabric of our nation," Ritchie said.
"I've noticed that the more diversity and acceptance are talked up, the less God and His holy law are welcomed on Catholic campuses. The truth is blurred or rejected."
A self-identified Jesuit Catholic school, Marquette opened an on-campus LGBT Resource Center in the fall of 2015.
"As part of our campus community, know that Marquette has a strong commitment to inclusivity and diversity in all of its many forms. We are aware that students who identify as LGBTQIA+ have unique experiences and face unique challenges," a statement on its Facebook page reads in part.
"We want you to know that you are a valued member of the campus community. You will see that we strive to aid in the holistic development of all students and aim to enrich your out-of-classroom experience."