Lesbian couple wins in St. Joe's Facebook about-face

An entry from Megan Edwards (left) and Katie MacTurk in a 'How I Met My Hawkmate' contest was initially removed from a webpage by the university. (Kathy McLean)
An entry from Megan Edwards (left) and Katie MacTurk in a 'How I Met My Hawkmate' contest was initially removed from a webpage by the university. (Kathy McLean)
Posted: February 15, 2012

KATIE MacTurk and Megan Edwards got the best Valentine's Day gift they could have asked for yesterday.

Vindication.

St. Joseph's University's alumni association announced that the lesbian couple were the winners of its controversial "How I Met My Hawkmate" Facebook contest, based on the number of "likes" their entry received.

Their victory came after the university initially removed their entry from the webpage, only to reverse its decision last week amid a hail of protest.

"It was the response from our peers that made us proud to be St. Joe's alums," MacTurk said. "If this is the company that we are in, we couldn't be prouder."

The women, who were engaged in October, said they entered the contest because of the important role St. Joseph's played in their lives and relationship.

"This was the place where we figured out who we are and grew as people," MacTurk said. "Without St. Joe's we never would have met in the first place."

The couple never imagined that their entry would be denied. And when they learned of the denial, all they wanted was an explanation.

"We felt disrespected. We didn't hear anything from [the university] until we reached out to them," MacTurk said. "We got the impression that they were crossing their fingers and hoping we wouldn't notice."

The women hope that their story will set an example for gay students everywhere and let them know support is available.

"We didn't pursue this to bash St. Joe's or make a name for ourselves," MacTurk said. "We just wanted to share our story."

MacTurk and Edwards donated the contest's prize, a $100 restaurant gift card, to St. Joe's Gay/Straight Alliance, a campus organization that says it supports "students of all sexual orientations."

Several calls to the university's alumni association for comment were not returned.

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