Council Recommends Same-Sex Ceremonies

At a sparsely-attended Sunday night meeting, the Undergraduate Council voted 34 to 6 to recommend that Memorial Church's administrative board allow same-sex blessing ceremonies to be held in the church.

"I think it goes against Harvard's non-discrimination policy, which I hold very dear. What they're saying is that straight people can use Memorial Church, gay people cannot," Sarah K. Hurwitz '99 said at the council's last meeting of the semester.

Those opposing the measure argued the council should not interfere with Memorial Church's policies.

"Memorial Church is the house of God," said Treasurer John J. Appelbaum '97. "I think the U.C. should stay out of the matters of the house of God."

While Memorial Church currently has no policy regarding same-sex blessing ceremonies, it has turned down such requests in the past.


The council wanted to make its recommendation before the church's next administrative board meeting, scheduled for February. It almost wasn't able to, however, since it barely achieved a quorum.

The council also passed a series of recommendations on the Core curriculum, which is currently being re-examined by the Faculty.

The council's recommendations for Core reform include scrapping the "approaches to knowledge" philosophy in favor of disciplinary subfields--including biological sciences, fine arts, history, literature, philosophy, physical sciences, social analysis and logical reasoning.

Logical reasoning would be a new requirement, covering math, computer science and statistics.

Students would be required to fulfill at least eight requirements that do not fall within their concentration.

These could be met by both Core classes and selected departmental courses.

"This simply allows a wider selection and allows people access to smaller classes, since most of the Core classes are huge," said Hurwitz, who was one of the main authors of the new proposal and one of the only members who spoke at the meeting.

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