SPOKANE-- Some Gonzaga University alumni are pushing for a new graduation speaker.
A new petition is asking for a different speaker in place of human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Organizers believe Archbishop Tutu’s views go against the teachings of the Catholic Church.
Spokane attorney Patrick Kirby turned in 677 signatures Friday morning to the office of the president. He believes Tutu’s support of abortion, contraception and same-sex marriages go against the principles described in the university’s mission.
Kirby says he admires much of what Tutu has done in his life and thinks he could speak on campus in another setting. The GU alum says faculty, staff and other alumni have all encouraged him to sponsor the petition.
Students in support of Tutu say even if he wasn’t the best choice, taking back the offer to be part of commencement would be inappropriate as well.
Commencement at Gonzaga is set for Mother’s Day weekend.