In the news - ajc.com
- PHILADELPHIA -- About one in every eight graduates walked out of Sunday's commencement at Saint Joseph's University before the keynote address by Sen. Rick Santorum, who recently infuriated gay groups and others with derogatory remarks about homosexual behavior.
Santorum, the Senate's third-ranking Republican, didn't mention the walkout or the controversy directly.
"We are all called to love one another, even people we disagree with, even people who hate us for what we believe," he said.
Students were offered an opportunity to leave before Santorum was introduced to receive an honorary degree and make his speech, and about 100 graduates walked out amid competing boos and applause.
Some students had urged the Jesuit university to rescind Santorum's invitation after he likened gay behavior to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery in an April 7 interview with The Associated Press.
He later said he intended the remarks as a legal analysis and didn't intend to comment on individual lifestyles.