D'Youville grad says college denied her same-sex wedding

Oct 21, 2019

A D’Youville College alumna has accused the school of discriminatory practices relating to her wedding.

Pride Mural on the D'Youville Campus
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

Jenna McGough is a recent graduate of the school’s nursing program. Engaged in April, McGough said she was denied permission to hold her wedding in the chapel on campus on the basis her wedding is going to be a same-sex wedding. The rejection was only slightly surprising to McGough.

“I was taken aback a little bit, but I was just used to the discrimination displayed,” she said. “Being a part of the LQBTQ community is just…you get shunned for everything.”

McGough says in her instance, the Catholic college is not practicing what it preaches in regards to their mission to be an inclusive and welcoming place.

On October 11, D’Youville celebrated National Coming Out Day by unveiling a Pride Mural on campus. News of the mural got back to McGough.

Jenna McGough (right) with Fiance Ellen Calmes
Credit Thomas O'Neil-White

“I went on social media,” she said.  “I saw the mural and I was appalled.”

Based on her most recent experience, McGough questions the authenticity of the school’s inclusivity practices. While she loves the mural and what it stands for, but if the those standards are not upheld, McGough said it’s nothing more than a marketing ploy.

“We just feel like you’re either all in or all out,” she said.

D’Youville released a statement Friday saying it was unaware of the wedding request nor of the response McGough received, and the school strives to be a welcoming place for everyone while maintaining its Catholic heritage. The school says it has reached out to McGough to be part of leadership-level conversations on ways the school can be more inclusive.