Any activity that violates this intent “is dealt with on a case-by-case basis, with a desire to disciple the student to maturity in his or her faith and to [lovingly] restore the student to good standing with the institution that they voluntarily chose to attend.”At the moment, there is no federal non-discrimination law that prevents schools from enforcing these policies.Fifteen states plus the District of Columbia offer protections to gay and lesbian students, but they usually grant exemptions to religious institutions.“And, these rules will not distinguish between sexual-orientation discrimination and non-recognition of same-sex marriages.”The federal government, he added, has many different “carrots and sticks” that it can use to “pressure institutions into enacting particular policies”; aside from laws such as Title IX and Title VI, grants and other funding programs typically have conditions attached to them.
Page 15 of the new student handbook of Cedarville University tells students to obey “the laws of the land.” However, there’s at least one law the Ohio evangelical college doesn’t support: the recent Supreme Court ruling that legalized gay marriage in all 50 states.
The school’s “Commitment to Purity,” printed on page 12 of the handbook, begins, “We believe that God’s design at creation for sexual desire and orientation is within the bounds of a marriage union between a man and a woman.” Cedarville prohibits students from engaging in not only same-sex dating, but also “public advocacy for the position that sex outside of a biblically defined marriage is morally acceptable.”The forceful tone of this handbook reflects a growing sense among evangelicals that they are being persecuted for their beliefs.
And Gordon College not only attracted criticism for its ban on same-sex relationships but also lost a contract with the city of Salem when government officials learned about its rule against hiring gays and lesbians.
Meanwhile, it appears that some evangelical colleges are tentatively opening up to discussions about new LGBT policies. For example, Illinois’s Wheaton College, Billy Graham’s alma mater, recently hosted a spirited debate about the topic on campus.
The college’s chaplain’s office also hired Julie Rodgers, who has publicly called herself a “gay Christian” and argues that there’s no scriptural prohibition against seeking non-sexual intimacy with people of the same sex.
“Just like a heterosexual orientation can’t be reduced to a desire for straight sex,” she wrote on her blog, “a gay orientation can’t be reduced to a desire for gay sex.” But news broke Monday evening that Rodgers has resigned from the college.
Cedarville, for example, last year confiscated copies of an alternative student newspaper, according to .
But these efforts often backfire, drawing even more attention toward a taboo subject.
While a few evangelical colleges have changed their same-sex policies—for example, Hope College in Michigan will now offer benefits to gay married couples—most theologically conservative Christian colleges are quietly resisting efforts to admit openly gay students.