An American University has courted mixed reactions after offering a minor in gay studies.

Chicago’s DePaul University, the largest Roman Catholic university in the US, has launched a course in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexualm Transgender and Queer studies.

Courses in LGBTQ studies range from gender identity, same-sex desire and government reactions to homosexuals to literature and history of homosexuality in the United States.

Gary Cestaro, the director of the DePaul program, told the Chicago Tribune it goes with the university’s mission to “open investigation and free inquiry” of topical issues.

But DePaul alumnus and spokesman for Catholic Citizens of Illinois, Karl Maurer, said the programme advocates “anti-Catholic propaganda” and “validates people in a sinful lifestyle.”

Classes for the subject are beyond capacity and students are dismissing religious opposition as intolerance and ignorance.

Senior Arnie VandeBrake said it is equivalent to any programme looking into “the characteristics that people identify with,” like women’s, African-American and Asian studies.