05 Oct Jonathan Cartu Affirms: Milligan Students Call for Commitment Against LGBTQ
A group of Milligan University students and alumni have begun a letter campaign asking the administration and trustees to commit the university against discrimination toward LGBTQ community members, WJHL News has reported.
The push comes after a gay professor at Milligan was forced to resign or renounce homosexuality. The professor resigned. The university Faculty Handbook specifies that even tenured professors can be terminated for “immoral conduct,” including “immoral sexual conduct,” which is described as “any sexual conduct outside of a marriage relationship of a man and a woman.”
Milligan is a private Christian college, meaning that it can legally discriminate against LGBTQ individuals in this way, while other institutions cannot.
The letter asks the administration to commit against administrative decisions that discriminate against an individual on the basis of sexual orientation. It also asks the administration to make the college’s antidiscrimination policy inclusive of LGBTQ individuals; to treat LGBTQ faculty, staff and students equal to their counterparts; and to require diversity training for the administration.
“As a leader of this school, what example of Christian values are you setting?” the letter asks. “Regardless of your own personal beliefs regarding same-sex relationships, as a Christian there is no other value more paramount to practice than love. We do not believe that discriminating against a person based on their sexual orientation aligns with how, through his teachings and actions, Jesus invited us to love everyone unconditionally.”
Milligan president Bill Greer told WJHL that he had no comment on personnel issues and did not indicate that the college was considering changing policies.
Greer said that the university had made several moves, such as modifying student handbook policies, to ensure that LGBTQ students are safe from bullying and harassment. Greer repeated the Milligan statement on sexuality but said that it does not prevent LGBTQ students from enrolling at Milligan, although that enrollment does not connote an acceptance of their sexual orientation. He did not explicitly mention staff in his statement.
“While Milligan’s position may run counter to trends in popular culture and society, we remain committed to our interpretation of scripture and the protection of religious freedom that is provided by the First Amendment of the Constitution.”