Gay Christians fight to organize in Christian universities
Homosexual students from Christian schools are rallying together to seek acknowledgment and acceptance of their sexual orientation, and to question the belief that homosexuality is a sin.
Homosexual organizations have been emerging, or trying to emerge, in Christian Evangelical colleges including Baylor University, Abilene Christian University, Belmont University and Harding University, among others, according to The New York Times.
Many members of these student organizations came to realize their sexual identities in college, but had gone through inner processes and struggles when they were younger, as shown by one online publication from Harding University which tells of the personal experiences of several gay students from the school.
A 2010 Pew survey indicated that Millennials (born after 1980) are in agreement with allowing same-sex marriage to be legalized by 53 percent vs 39 percent, the highest margin since 1928, The Christian Post said.
Another study by Lifeway Research in 2009 surveyed 1,200 Millenials and showed that six out of 10 young adults are agreeable to same-sex marriage, according to The Christian Post.
Adam R. Short, an openly gay student at Baylor University told The New York Times that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to get the campus to ratify a club that would dwell on homophobia and sexuality.
Considered the largest Baptist university in the country with 15,000 students, Baylor did not allow its students to participate in a sexuality forum. Lori Fogleman, university spokeswoman told The New York Times, “Baylor expects students not to participate in advocacy groups promoting an understanding of sexuality that is contrary to biblical teaching.”
Despite this some 50 Baylor students meet regularly at the online site, Sexual Identity Forum, and are hopeful that they will eventually be give formal status on campus, The New York Times said.
The SIF forum states, “Baylor University welcomes all students into a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss and learn about a variety of issues, including those of human sexuality,” which is picked up from the University website.
The SIF website said it “seeks to open the discussion about sexual and gender issues.” Its stated purpose is to “start dialogue about important issues concerning gender and sexuality including violence against LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) students; suicide among LGBT students; homophobia concerning students; and current political events regarding gender/sexuality issues.”
Abilene Christian University, Texas has also disallowed the forming of Gay-Straight Alliance.
Jean-Noel Thompson, university vice president told The New York Times, “We want to engage these complex issues, and to give help and guidance to students who are struggling with same-sex attraction. But we are not going to embrace any advocacy for gay identity.”
Harding University, Arkansas blocked access to an online publication which featured the gay outings of university alumni and students. David B. Burks, president of Harding told students, “[I]t was important for us to block the Web site because of what it says about Harding, who we are, and what we believe,” The New York Times said.
Recently the first annual Day of Dialogue was held among evangelicals to talk about God’s “best plan for sexuality and relationships.” The event was organized by Cadi Cushman and Focus on the Family, The Christian Post said.
The purpose of The Day of Dialogue was to help students to understand “God’s deep love for us and what the Bible really says about His redemptive design for marriage and sexuality,” according to The Christian Post.
The Day of Dialogue was also launched in response to The Day of Silence which occurred April 15 and was organized by the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, The Christian Post said.
Cushman told The Christian Post, “We hope this event will give them confidence that their faith speaks into the hot topics in the culture of today.”