In 2012, the University of San Diego, a Roman Catholic institution of higher education, abandoned its Christian values and held a drag show which sought to crown USD’s first “Supreme Drag Superstar.” Since that time, the drag show has become an annual event, occurring every year in April. Several of FCDF’s attorneys are USD alumni, and so FCDF decided to take on a project designed to return USD to its Christian roots. This project began with the mobilization of USD students and alumni who vigorously protested the drag show. When USD refused to cancel the event, instead deciding to make it an annual event, the FCDF organized the movement and website Alumni For A Catholic USD which has kept USD students and alumni informed about USD’s abandonment of its Christian values.
In 2013, FCDF filed a Canon Law case against USD within the legal structure of the Roman Catholic Church. After the Vatican’s Congregation for Education investigated the drag show, it concluded that it was a “scandal.” USD, however, continued to refuse to cancel the event. FCDF then, in 2014, filed a formal Canon Law Petition with the Apostolic Signatura, the Supreme Court of the Vatican, which would require USD to either cease hosting the drag show or cease identifying itself as Catholic. This is the first case of its kind brought against a Catholic University in the Vatican courts. At this time, the Canon Law Petition is still pending.