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University of St. Thomas: No to Pro-Life Speaker Yes,… to Trasnsgender Speaker

April 10, 2008

This news infuriating. A Catholic university, the University of St. Thomas welcomes the likes of Al Franken and transgender activist Debra Davis, and if that was not bad enough, they do not welcome pro-life speaker & best-selling author Star Parker. Did I mention the university is ‘Catholic’? What sort of a twisted upside down prejudice is that? UST Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney has an obvious agenda and it is NOT in the best interest of the university or the Catholic pro-life stance. Jane Carney has obvious ulterior motives.

Catholic university to black, pro-life speaker: You’re not Welcomed!


…but we’ll make room for Al Franken and transgender speakers

star-parker-email.gifHerndon, VA – Liberal administrators at the University of St. Thomas, a Catholic university and private college in Minnesota, censored the appearance of prominent pro-life and black speaker Star Parker. On April 21, 2008, Star—the best-selling author of numerous books—was slated to speak on campus about the devastating impact abortion has on minority communities. UST Vice President of Student Affairs Jane Canney nixed the idea entirely, citing “concerns” that the lecture was being underwritten by Young America’s Foundation.

Katie Kieffer, a 2005 alumna of St. Thomas and founder of the independent conservative newspaper on campus, the St. Thomas Standard, as well as the non-profit Conservative Student News Inc., was an organizer of the Star Parker lecture. She confronted Canney on her refusal to allow Star on campus. “Our Catholic university has hosted two decidedly liberal speakers in the past year, Al Franken and Debra Davis, an outspoken transgender woman,” Kieffer wrote in the St. Thomas Standard.

Why, then, won’t St. Thomas welcome Star Parker—a pro-life, Christian speaker?


Canney’s hostility toward Young America’s Foundation originated when the Foundation sponsored Ann Coulter at St. Thomas two years ago—an event attracting more than 750 students. Canney claimed she felt “uncomfortable” and “disturbed” while listening to Coulter, adding that she will never allow another Foundation-sponsored speaker on campus again.

Campus liberals are unaccustomed to hearing conservative ideas in their echo chambers, so it’s not uncommon for them to become discomforted when hearing alternative opinions.

“Canney should not deprive students the right to hear Star Parker’s ideas,” said Jason Mattera, the spokesman for Young America’s Foundation. “Such guilt-by-association is unbecoming of a college administrator.”


Liberals speakers at St. Thomas receive full support from the school’s administration. Just this past year Canney’s Student Life Committee approved the appearances of Al Franken, the bombastic liberal commentator, and Debra Davis, a transgendered activist.

Katie Kieffer called Canney out on her duplicity: “As an alumna of St. Thomas, I am embarrassed that the vice president of Student Affairs, Jane Canney, makes key decisions based on impulse and feelings. I am embarrassed that a vice president at this Catholic institution is making it virtually impossible for conservatives to bring conservative speakers to campus. For a person in charge of Campus Life on a Catholic campus, she is closed to our efforts to present conservative and Catholic pro-life values.”


Jane Canney and Father Dease can be contacted at: and

H/T John -Stop The ACLU


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