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USD's drag show goes on despite protest

source: http://www.cbs8.com/story/31731870/usds-drag-show-goes-on-despite-protest

By Richard Allyn, Reporter
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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Despite protests, the sold out 2016 Drag Show went on at the University of San Diego Thursday night.

The event has been denounced by many Catholics and even called a scandal by the Vatican, and Thursday night's show drew demonstrators.

Organizers said the drag show is not only entertaining, but educational because it spreads a message of acceptance.

A passionate contingent of opponents countered that argument. They believe the show celebrates a sinful lifestyle and has no place on the USD campus.

For the fifth straight year, USD's drag show sold out in record time according to organizers. 

"I completely support it. I am so glad our school does this," said USD student D'Jenne Edwards. 

All of the performers were USD students who primarily performed lip-sync numbers while dressed in drag.

"I think that it shows that we support "inclusivity" and diversity here on campus," said an USD student.

A vocal group of opponents gathered to pray in protest outside the event Thursday night.

"We care about their souls. We care about what goes on in there because they are leading young people astray," said Joan Pernicano. 

Opponents said they have contacted the Vatican in an effort to persuade USD to discontinue the annual event.

"This is after all a Catholic University, and it should be reflecting the truths of our faith," said Thomas McKenna. 

Nick Norita said, "I don't think this has a place on our campus."

Hundreds of his classmates who attended the drag show had a different opinion.

"It boils down to: Is it love or is not? Is it accepting or is is not? I think this shows we are a loving, accepting campus, and that is 100-percent in line with the Bible's teachings," said USD student Riley Read. 

Protesters said as long as the drag show continues, they will continue to oppose it.

CBS News 8 reached out USD for comment, but did not receive any response directly addressing opponents' concerns.