Azusa Pacific reinstates ban on LGBTQ+ relationships
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On September 28th Azusa Pacific University reinstated a ban on LGBTQ relationships. The situation arose when a student wrote in the newspaper an article about the actions taken on August 27, 2018, when the university decided to remove a ban on LGBTQ relationships on campus from the student conduct. The university was then bombarded with comments such as “surrendered” and “Losing God first”, Students gathered to protest the school’s actions. Some students and faculty gathered together and sang “No longer slaves”, and prayed as a way of protesting. The lyrics, “I’m no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God” were emphasized during the song, trying to depict that a relationship status should not be confined to judgment, especially from Christians who view themselves as accepting and unbiased.
The school gave out a statement to the public on October 1, 2018 saying, “We see every student as a gift from God, infinitely valuable and worthy in the eyes of our Creator and as members of our campus community. We believe our university is the best place for earnest and guided conversation to unfold with all students about every facet of life, including faith and sexuality. We embrace all students who seek a rigorous Christian higher education and voluntarily join us in mission.” Along with this statement, the board of Trustees said, “We affirm God’s perfect will and design for humankind with the biblical understanding of the marriage covenant as between one man and one woman. Outside of marriage, He calls His people to abstinence. We advocate for holy living within the university in support of our Christian values.”
A professor from the university who wished the remain anonymous, mentioned a different reason for the reinstatement of the ban, “the reinstatement of the ban is a fiscal decision born out of concern over losing donors at a time when the university is facing dangerous debt.” Research shows that the university has a debt of $61 million in unpaid bonds, $17 million from the 2017-2018 academic year, and an estimated $20 million for this school year. The professor added on how the school feared “losing students in the 21st century when our stance for these students is so backward.”
Azusa Pacific University students protested the decision on October 1, 2018 saying, “This isn’t something sinful, God. This is something beautiful.” The topic of peace, love, and acceptance is spread throughout the school by the protesters. A student even went on to say, “I pray that we continue to live out the mission of being difference-makers, God, that this world is a place of equality.”