Not only will students at the Catholic University of America get to watch “Milk,” but the film’s screenwriter has also been approved to speak on campus, Crux has learned.
Students at the school have been given the go-ahead to reschedule a screening of a biopic chronicling the life of gay-rights activist Harvey Milk, as well as a discussion on how the LGBT movement has shaped the Democratic Party.
The decision comes about two weeks after administrators at the Washington, DC, school postponed the event due to concerns that students would engage in advocacy of positions contrary to Catholic teaching, in violation of campus policy.
University spokesman Victor Nakas said in a statement today that after “a discussion and review of the program’s educational intent, the Director of Campus Activities approved the rescheduling of the event. The College Democrats indicated that they will attempt to reschedule the program so that it takes place within the next month, hopefully by the end of October.”
The event, “Milk and Cookies,” was scheduled for Oct. 1, but was abruptly postponed when administrators told students they had concerns with how the event had been advertised. School officials, explaining their decision in a statement earlier this month, said the original event, though approved by administrators, was being promoted with language that “called into question whether the event had changed in nature from one of education to one of advocacy.”
At issue was a flyer that promoted the event as a kickoff to LGBT Awareness Month, which caused administrators to worry that the event was promoting a position contrary to Catholic Church teaching.
When news of the postponement broke, Dustin Lance Black, the film’s Academy Award-winning screenwriter, offered to visit the university:
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) October 2, 2014
Nakas confirmed that Black has been approved to speak on campus, though it is unclear if he has received a formal invitation from students.
Shelby Kestler, who leads the College Democrats, attended the meeting with student affairs and said in a statement, “I am very pleased with the outcome of the meeting. The miscommunication was resolved, and the event will take place in its original format.”
According to the student group, they are in the planning process but no date has been set.