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Christian university drops ban on LGBT relationships—but not on gay sex

Ella Braidwood September 26, 2018

(Azusa Pacific University/Facebook)

An Evangelical university in California, USA, has dropped its ban on LGBT+ relationships on campus—but it still rejects gay sex and same-sex marriage.

Azusa Pacific University (APU) changed the language used in a standard of conduct agreement, which had previously banned same-sex relationships, reports student newspaper Zu Media.

According to the paper, the change came about following discussions between the university’s underground LGBT+ support group Haven, which had to meet off-campus as it was not endorsed by the institute, and APU’s administrative board.

APU still prohibits gay sex and equal marriage. (Justin Sullivan/Getty)

The university’s code of conduct still adheres to the view that a “sexual union is intended by God to take place only within the marriage covenant between a man and a woman.”

Bill Fiala, associate dean of students at APU, told the student paper: “The change that happened with the code of conduct is still in alignment with our identity as a Christian institution. The language changed, but the spirit didn’t. Our spirit is still a conservative, evangelical perspective on human sexuality.”

As well as dropping its ban on romantic LGBT+ relationships, the university is also creating a pilot programme for a safe space for queer students on campus.

“We have been intentional about the program, and want it to be considered a program that comes out of student life and out of the university,” Fiala explained to Zu Media.

The university does not believe in equal marriage. (Azusa Pacific University/Facebook)

“We created this in support of the LGBTQ+ students at APU. One prong of that is the weekly meetings with Haven. Another aspect of that is educational outreach, and holding events. We are co-creating a program with students.”

APU has previously caused upset among those in the LGBT+ community.

In 2013, it was reported that APU asked a professor to leave his role after he came out as a trans man.

Other Christian universities have also been criticised for their ban on same-sex relationships, which in certain instances have led to the dismissal of LGBT+ students.

In September, a student was told he wouldn’t be able to re-enroll at Clarks Summit University, a private Christian college, to complete his degree because he is gay.

And, in February, it was alleged that a Harvard University Christian group kicked out a Bible study leader because she is bisexual.

Among the other Christian colleges allowing same-sex relationships among its students, Canada’s Christian institute Trinity Western University was recently forced to drop its ban on gay sex following a Supreme Court ruling.

More: Azusa Pacific University, PinkNews, US, USA

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